Sept. 8 marked World First Aid Day, and the Canadian Red Cross is calling on all Canadians to ensure they have the skills needed to save lives when an emergency happens.
“Although 68 per cent of Canadians say they can recognize the signs of a life-threatening health emergency, like choking or cardiac arrest, fewer than half believe they have the skills to provide life-saving basic first aid,” said Don Marentette, national manager of first aid programs with the Canadian Red Cross. “The Red Cross believes lapsed training and Canadians’ low confidence in their ability to save a life are directly related, and pose a risk in emergencies.”
While many people believe first aid is usually administered on strangers, polling shows that nearly 60 per cent of Canadians who have had to provide first aid did so to help a family member.
There is a significant gap between Canadians’ perception of the importance of taking a first aid course, and actually taking one. Although nearly 98 per cent of Canadians say knowing how to perform first aid is important, 82 per cent have not taken a first aid course within the last three years.
“The Red Cross is calling on members of our community to get first aid training. If your training has lapsed, it is important to update your skills,” said Bridget Erwin, first aid co-ordinator, Sudbury branch. “The more we practise first aid, the more confident we will be when the time comes to use those skills.”
The Canadian Red Cross is a leading provider of first aid and CPR programs and has been offering first aid and CPR training to Canadians for more than 50 years.
For more information or to find a course near you, visit www.redcross.ca/firstaid.