Teens urged to learn first-aid to save a life

Happy to help: Jonathon Davis, of Caringbah, was able to help at the scene of a motorcycle accident after learning first-aid. Picture: Supplied
Happy to help: Jonathon Davis, of Caringbah, was able to help at the scene of a motorcycle accident after learning first-aid. Picture: Supplied

Jonathon Davis,of Caringbah, was just 18 when he arrived at the scene of a horrifying road accident involving a motorcyclist who had been hit by a van.

The motorcyclist was lying on the ground and his breathing was laboured when Jonathon stepped in to help.

While bystanders urged Jonathon to remove the man's helmet, Jonathon's first-aid training kicked in and he refused, knowing that if the victim had suffered a spinal injury, it would make it worse.

He credits the first-aid training he had completed just a few weeks before the accident for knowing what to do.

The Australian Red Cross is urging young Australians to learn first-aid so they too can know what to do in the event of an accident or medical emergency.

A new study conducted by the Australian Red Cross revealed 88 per cent of Australians said first-aid training should be compulsory in high schools, while 70 per cent said first-aid training should be part of the application process when learning to drive.

In a bid to teach more people the basics of first-aid, the Australian Red Cross will launch free first-aid training online and via TikTok on World First-Aid Day, September 11.

"In the schoolyard, on the sports field, at home, or out with friends, our experience tells us young people are often the first responders in emergency situations," Australian Red Cross head of first-aid and mental health training Wendy Greenhalf said.

"In the UK, first-aid education is part of the school curriculum [and] our research shows the vast majority of Australians believe this should be the case here too.

"We want our young people to be 'First-Aid Champions', ready to step up and help out when there's an emergency.

"That's where teaching first-aid in high school could come into play.

"Arming young people with the knowledge and skills to step up in an emergency could help reduce pain at the time of injury or long-term damage."

The online training session will be presented by accredited Australian Red Cross first-aid trainers, who will demonstrate essential first-aid skills, including treating burns, broken bones, head injuries, strains and sprains, asthma attacks and severe allergic reactions.

Participants will also learn how to deal with potentially life-threatening emergencies, such as choking, heart attacks and swallowing harmful substances.

"We encourage all Australians to learn new skills or renew existing ones by jumping online this World First-Aid Day for one of our training sessions," Ms Greenhalf said.

"You never know when your first-aid skills could help a friend, teammate, workmate, or a loved one in an emergency."

Details: To take part in the free basic first-aid training session register by clicking here. To find out more about learning first-aid click here.