World First Aid Day September 8

Added by on September 7, 2012

Saturday September 8 is World First Aid Day and Red Cross College is highlighting the need for Australians to update their skills to ensure they know what to do in a First Aid emergency.

Red Cross College, the commercial arm of Australian Red Cross, says many people do not realise how important it is to refresh their First Aid skills. After completing CPR training, it is recommended that a refresher course is done yearly. The Apply First Aid qualification should be updated every three years.

“Many people who have completed their First Aid qualification have let their skills lapse putting those close to them at risk by either having forgotten what they have learnt or using out-of-date procedures,” says Chris Casey, General Manager – National Business Development at Red Cross College.

Many Australians still believe the Heimlich manoeuvre is the correct procedure to use when someone is choking. In fact, many people are too quick to undertake potentially dangerous interventions, such as abdominal thrusts, when someone is choking. The recommended intervention is to start with less invasive ways of helping the person to breathe, such as encouraging them to cough first.

Kerry Gunter, 37, from Greenwith, South Australia, knows about this situation all too well. She noticed her young son was choking on a one dollar coin and used her newly learnt First Aid skills to dislodge the coin from his windpipe, enabling him to breathe again. Kerry says, “I have never cried like I did that day. My son is alive today thanks to the First Aid training I received from Red Cross College.”

Red Cross has been teaching First Aid to Australians since 1914, with Red Cross College delivering training to organisations and individuals. Knowledge is key to providing the right support in a First Aid emergency. Test your knowledge by taking the ‘What would you do if…’ quiz at

To refresh your First Aid skills, contact Red Cross College for information about courses on 1300 367 428 or visit