More Cana­di­ans need first aid train­ing, says Red Cross

The Compass - - ORTHTE -

Re­cent polling by the Red Cross shows that nearly 40 per cent of Cana­di­ans say they have been in an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion where they have had to per­form first aid. How­ever, only 18 per cent are cur­rently cer­ti­fied.

World First Aid Day took place on Sept. 8, with the Cana­dian Red Cross 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.

“The re­al­ity is, when you learn first aid you are more likely to save the life of a fam­ily mem­ber than any­one else,” added Mar­entette. “These are the sto­ries you don’t of­ten hear about, a mother sav­ing her child from chok­ing, for ex­am­ple.”

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 Cana­dian Red Cross is a lead­ing provider of first aid and CPR pro­grams and has been of­fer­ing train­ing to Cana­di­ans for over 50 years. For more in­for­ma­tion or to find a course near you, visit www.red­cross.ca/firstaid.

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