We’ve all been warned that a terror attack on home soil could happen any day. The police have been preparing for the worst, and residents of major cities all over the UK have been hoping for the best. As ISIS continue to unleash vicious and cold-blooded attacks around the world, we can only watch on in horror as the news unfolds.
Now, a new app called CitizenAID is aiming to teach members of the public what to do in the event of being caught up in a terror attack.
CitizenAID has been developed by military and civilian medics, and is designed to be used alongside the ‘Run, Hide, Tell’ guidance given by the National Counter Terrorism Security Office.
The app explains how to plan, prepare and react to a terror attack, as well as giving potentially life-saving advice on how to treat other victims of an attack if you find yourself caught up in an incident before the emergency services arrive.
Sir Keith Porter, professor of clinical traumatology at the University of Birmingham, is one of four clinicians behind the initiative.
He told the BBC: ‘I have treated hundreds of soldiers whose lives have been saved by simply the applications of tourniquets when they have been shot or blown up. Teaching individual soldiers these skills has saved lives.
‘And I think it is essential we train the public in those skills and that is exactly what citizenAID does.’
CitizenAID founder Brigadier Tim Hodgetts said the initiative should not scare people.
‘We are empowering the public,’ he told the BBC.
‘By giving them a step-by-step system we take away the anxiety because the decisions are already made and the right decisions in the right order can save lives.’
Here is further advice from the police on what to do in the event a terror attack:
- Get as far away from the scene of the attack as you can using the safest possible route
- Avoid exits that create ‘bottlenecks’
- “Insist others come with you, but don’t let their indecision slow you down”
If it isn’t safe to run, then hide:
- Find cover from gunfire as quickly as you can
- If possible, find somewhere where you can lock a door and barricade yourself in – creating ‘a substantial physical barrier between you and the attacker’
- Be as quiet as you can and TURN YOUR PHONE TO SILENT so that it will not make any noise or vibration that might give your hiding position away
If you can get yourself to safety:
- Dial 999 when you are out of harm’s way
- Give the police as much information as you can such as the location of the attack, the direction the attacker might be moving in, and a description of the attacker or attackers
- If you can, stop other members of the public from moving towards the area of the attack. Warn as many people as you can about the incident so they may too take cover
Speaking on behalf of National Counter Terrorism Policing, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Neil Basu, said:
“The public should not be alarmed by this step. While the general level of threat to the UK is SEVERE, the probability of being caught up in a firearms or weapons attack is very, very small.”
“However, it is important the public know what to do in the event of getting caught up in such an incident.”