Building Resilient Communities through Employee Preparedness

Businesses play an important role in building resilient communities, and ensuring their employees and organizations are prepared for natural or manmade disasters.


citizenAID North America (citizenAID) is an organization dedicated to empowering businesses with the tools needed to respond to disasters thereby preparing communities across the country to save lives in times of crisis.


citizenAID does this by offering online training courses, Public Treatment Kits, and a free mobile app to equip anyone with the knowledge they need in case they find themselves in an unfortunate situation, whether it be a natural or manmade disaster. While most people are anxious and afraid in moments of emergency, citizenAID’s trainings and app are designed to give everyone peace of mind. When you’re prepared, you’re less likely to be scared and more likely to make rational, life-saving decisions. The training courses and mobile app were inspired by the Combat Lifesaver Course used to train non-medic soldiers to sustain lives on the battlefield while waiting for medics to arrive, and were created by experts with decades of experience in emergency response.


citizenAID’s model is unique: We set out to create partnerships to reach high-traffic, public spaces across the country and train employees who work in those spaces—from schools to airports—to be prepared in case of emergencies. Additionally, the organizations we partner with give back to schools through a one-for-one matching program to help us reach our goal of training one million teachers for free.


We launched our first one-for-one program when we joined with two safety organizations in northeast Wisconsin to provide local teachers and administrators with our Educators, School Administrators, and Coaches (ESAC) training courses. These work in tandem with existing emergency protocols, enhancing the skills our teachers and faculty already have. This was the first of many and serves as one of our best models for a successful and impactful partnership. Since then, we’ve partnered with more than 20 school districts in the Midwest and Mississippi, offering our training to 6,000 teachers and faculty just this year.


We’ve also expanded into other areas with partnerships ranging from airports to local Chambers of Commerce to the School Superintendents Association. These partnerships will have immense impacts on public safety, creating a community of non-medic, basic trauma care specialists.


As a firefighter and an EMT with 23 years of experience, I know just how important it is to react not only in a timely manner, but also calmly when finding yourself in a life-threatening situation. I also know that no matter the advances our emergency professionals are making, there will almost always be a bystander around the moment tragedy strikes, and a short period of time before medics can arrive. That’s why these basic skills are so important to have.


With unexpected tragedies shaking up communities seemingly every day, we’re motivated to make sure every community has the tools they need to prepare if something happens to them, and we’re proud of the partnerships we’ve created with organizations that aspire to do the same.