Why I started citizenAID - citizenAID™ of North America

Why I started citizenAID

I am Bob Otter, a firefighter, EMT, and most importantly, a father. I want my kids to be knowledgeable and prepared for whatever they may come across in life, both the good and the bad. The same thing goes for my community as a whole, we need to be resilient and prepared. It doesn’t matter if it’s an accident, a weather event, or even worse, a violent incident, we need to know what to do to keep ourselves safe and to save lives should we ever be in a position to do so.  I know there is a reluctance, by the public, to discuss emergency preparedness, which makes sense because “what-ifs” can often ignite fear. But we need varied and accessible tools in the hands of all citizens, before tragedy strikes, and that’s exactly why we founded citizenAID North America.

Not long ago, the U.S. Army and militaries around the globe needed a way to improve survival rates on the battlefield. Out of that need, the Combat Lifesaver Program was created, teaching basic trauma care to battlefield soldiers and providing them the tools necessary to help sustain lives. This program, and others like it, lowered preventable death on the battlefield by 25%. These types of injury patterns are horrifically becoming more and more common in our civilian setting so we took the successful model our military implemented and contextualized it into a program for the general public.


My experience in 23 years as a firefighter and EMT has taught me about the uneasy, measurable gap in time from the second someone is injured to the time they receive paramedic care. No matter how efficient our first responders become, this “delay to treatment” will always exist. A lot can happen in the short time it takes for emergency personnel to arrive, it’s important that bystanders know how to help in moments of disaster so that medical professionals can do their jobs effectively once they arrive.


Emergencies can happen anywhere, at any time, and to anyone. Whether it’s a natural disaster or a man-made tragedy, citizenAID can help relieve the anxiety of the unknown. We want everyone to join us, from individual shop owners to large national corporations, from concert-goers to large concert venues, from teachers to entire school districts – because the more people who are prepared, the safer we all will be.

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