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Understanding First Aid Training & Its Importance


First aid training is designed to teach people the basic principles and techniques to provide immediate help if and when they witness a serious injury or illness. The goal of first aid is to preserve life and prevent the condition from worsening, in the safest way possible, until professional medical help is available. 

Organizations like the American Red Cross advocate for widespread first aid training because hundreds of thousands of people in the United States die every year from treatable, or preventable deaths that could have been avoided through immediate first aid. For example, 350,000 Americans die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest every year, while another 60,000 die from heavy bleeding or rapid blood loss from emergency accidents. Drowning and choking also account for several thousand other preventable deaths each year. 

Everyone can benefit from learning first aid techniques, but these skills might be especially useful for parents, lifeguards, office managers, teachers, day care providers, and athletic coaches.

what is first aid training

The purpose of first aid training is to empower everyday people with the skills to step up and provide care in an emergency situation until professional help arrives. The nature of emergencies is that they often happen when and where they are least expected, so having a background in general first aid is always a good idea. 

During a first aid course, participants will receive training to help them respond effectively to a range of emergency situations – they’ll learn basic life support techniques, how to manage life threatening injuries, and how to recognize and address time sensitive medical emergencies like  Sudden Cardiac Arrest or stroke. 

Here are a few common topics that are covered during most first aid classes.

Basic Life Support (BLS) Technique

BLS techniques are fundamental skills that teach people how to provide immediate care to those who may be experiencing a life-threatening cardiac emergency, like Sudden Cardiac Arrest or a heart attack. With BLS training, participants will learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of cardiac arrest, perform chest compressions, and use an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

CPR training teaches proper techniques for performing chest compressions and delivering rescue breaths – both skills can help to revive someone who is unconscious and not breathing normally. Immediate action with CPR can significantly increase a person’s chances of surviving a cardiac arrest.

Choking & Airway Obstruction Management

During a first aid class, participants will also learn how to recognize and respond to choking emergencies. They’ll receive instructions for how to clear airway obstructions using the Heimlich maneuver for adults, or back blows for children.

Bleeding Control & Wound Care

Most first aid classes will include some instruction on how to manage wounds and prevent excessive blood loss from injuries that could lead to death. Participants will learn how to apply direct pressure, elevate the wound, and use dressings or bandages to control the bleeding.

Fracture & Sprain Management

It is common for participants in first aid classes to learn how to stabilize and immobilize fractures and sprains with the goal of preventing further injury and alleviating pain before professional medical attention is available.

Burns & Thermal Injuries Treatment

To treat burns and thermal injuries, participants in a first aid class will learn how to assess the severity of a burn and treat it by cooling the burn with water, covering it with clean dressing, and calling on professional help for more severe burns.

The American Red Cross and American Heart Association are large, reputable organizations that have CPR and first aid training programs designed to equip individuals with the skills to positively influence the outcome of medical emergencies that occur outside the hospital. 

These national entities have training representatives throughout the country who offer local training classes in person as well as online. To check if there is an American Red Cross training opportunity in your area, search here

Here are 5 essential lifesaving tools that could help you be the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.

Automated External Defibrillator, or AED

AEDs are used to treat people who experience Sudden Cardiac Arrest. While CPR buys time, the only way to revive someone from cardiac arrest and restart their heart is with a shock from an AED. 

The Avive Connect AED® is a 21st-century defibrillator, designed with an emphasis on portability and connectivity. The device is easy for anyone to use – it has a Child Button, Spanish button, and in-sync video graphics that move along with the audio instructions to help guide an untrained user through the rescue scenario successfully.

Tourniquet, Bleeding Control Kit

Bleeding control kits are crucial in situations where severe bleeding occurs – natural disasters, violent crimes, and transportation accidents can all cause injuries that may worsen or lead to death from rapid, severe blood loss.

Mask With One-Way Valve

A mask with a one-way valve helps provide a barrier while performing mouth-to-mouth respirations during CPR. While the American Heart Association adjusted their guidelines to promote Hands-Only CPR for the untrained responder, bystanders with first aid/CPR training may feel empowered to administer rescue breaths. A mask with a one-way valve is a good way to protect from disease and bodily excretions.

Naloxone (NARCAN®)

Administering Naloxone or NARCAN can rapidly reverse the effects of opioid overdose, providing a vital intervention after a drug overdose.


For individuals with severe allergies, EpiPen is an essential item to have on hand – it delivers epinephrine quickly during an anaphylactic reaction, preventing life threatening reactions and complications.

First aid training equips individuals with the vital skills to respond effectively in emergencies and potentially save lives. By learning first aid, we can become valuable contributors to our community’s well being and foster safer environments for those around us!

How long does a first aid course take?

The length of a first aid class depends on the level of certification you’re looking to achieve. Basic courses can range from a few hours of instruction to a full day, while more comprehensive training courses may span several days.

Can first aid training be done online?

Yes, first aid training can be completed online. 

Many reputable organizations like The American Red Cross offer interactive courses that cover essential first aid skills through virtual modules and assessments. Be sure that any online course you’re considering meets recognized standards.

Is certification provided after completing first aid training?

Yes, most first aid training programs offer certification once a course is successfully completed. Online training courses usually have an assessment component before certification can be achieved. It’s crucial to choose accredited courses recognized by relevant organizations to ensure the validity of the certification.

What is the golden rule of first aid?

The golden rule of first aid is to prioritize safety for both the rescuer and the patient. Before administering any aid, assess the situation and ensure the scene is safe. Remember to stay calm, act quickly but cautiously, and seek professional medical help when necessary.

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