Belmont, Perth,

Milestone for St John school-based first aid program

More than half a million West Australian school children have been given an introduction to first aid through a free course developed by St John Ambulance Western Australia.

The 500,000th student trained in St John’s First Aid Focus program was among the 900 students trained at Carramar Primary School this week.

The First Aid Focus program, aimed at school students from Kindergarten to Year 12, was initiated in 2009 and since then it has been taken up by hundreds of WA schools.

St John First Aid Training General Manager Jane Mahon said the half a million mark was an enormous achievement and had set the standard in Australia.

She said making first aid training a part of everyone’s life was a priority for St John.

“We are delighted that so many young West Australians have done this course,” said Ms Mahon.

“To reach 500,000 students is a brilliant achievement and we now have a more resilient community as a result.”

“We also have the WA community as a whole to thank for this as we fund First Aid Focus though our paid courses; so every time someone comes in to a St John centre to train they are helping the schoolchildren of WA.”

First Aid Focus is grouped into three age-related courses: Kindergarten-Year 2; Primary and High School; with each run by experienced St John Ambulance First Aid Trainers, who introduce basic first aid skills that are appropriate to the age group.

“With the younger age groups, we explain what an emergency is – it’s something that mum or dad can’t treat – so they understand that you don’t call triple zero (000) if you scrape your knee – and what to do in an emergency,” explained Ms Mahon.

“By the time they reach high school, we’re teaching students basic CPR skills and introducing them to our click2save online course, which we’re encouraging all Year 12 students to do before they head to their leavers’ celebrations this year. It could be the difference between losing a friend or saving their life.”

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