World First Aid Day: Canadians not prepared for medical emergencies, suggests new poll

Topics: National, First Aid and CPR
September 07, 2012


(Ottawa) – Recent polling by the Red Cross shows that nearly 40 per cent of Canadians say they have been in an emergency situation where they have had to perform first aid; however, only 18 per cent are currently certified. This World First Aid Day, September 8th, the Canadian Red Cross is calling on all Canadians to ensure they have the skills needed to save lives when an emergency happens.

“Every Canadian should not only have first aid skills – but feel confident using them in emergencies,” says Don Marentette, national manager of first aid programs with the Canadian Red Cross. “Those first moments in a medical emergency are vital – and knowing how to properly provide first aid can be the difference between life and death.”

Although 68 per cent of Canadians say they can recognize the signs of a life-threatening health emergency, like choking or cardiac arrest, fewer than half believe they have the skills to provide life-saving basic first aid. The Red Cross believes lapsed training and Canadians’ low confidence in their ability to save a life are directly related, and pose a risk in emergencies.

“Its not enough to have taken first aid once” adds Marentette. “Canadians need to recertify to ensure they are properly prepared with up-to-date information and skills, so they will have the confidence and skills to act in a medical emergency.”

There is a significant gap between Canadians’ perception of the importance of taking a first aid course, and actually taking one. Although nearly 98 per cent of Canadians say knowing how to perform first aid is important, 82 per cent have not taken a first aid course within the last three years.

The Canadian Red Cross is a leading provider of first aid and CPR programs and has been offering first aid and CPR training to Canadians for over 50 years. For more information or to find a course near you, visit

Section Widgets