World First Aid Day

September 8 is World First Aid Day and the Canadian Red Cross is calling on all Canadians to ensure they have the skills needed to save lives when an emergency happens. This call to action is especially important in light of recent polling that shows nearly 40 per cent of Canadians have been in an emergency situation where they have had to perform first aid; however, only 18 per cent are currently certified to do so.

The Red Cross polled Canadians on their experience with first aid in time for World First Aid Day in order to raise awareness about the importance of regular training. The survey results show a significant gap between the perception of the importance in learning first aid skills and actually taking a course.

Here is a look at what the survey showed:

  • Nearly 40% of Canadians say they have been in an emergency situation where they've had to perform first aid
  • 98% of Canadians say knowing how to perform first aid is important, but only 18% have taken a first aid course within the last three years
  • Almost 70% of Canadians are confident they can recognize the signs of a life-threatening health emergency
  • Less than half of those people believe they have the skills to provide basic first aid in a health emergency
  • 2 in 3 Canadians have taken a first aid course at some time in their lives, but less than half took the course more than 3 years ago
  • Among Canadians who have provided first aid, 58% helped a family member, 40% helped a stranger, 34% helped a friend, and 31% helped a colleague

Be prepared and confident in any emergency by enrolling in a first aid and CPR course. For more information or to find a Red Cross course near your, visit