First Aid Basics: It’s made for you

By Kathryn Dunmore, Canadian Red Cross
Have you considered taking a first aid course but are still trying to find the time to commit to a multi-hour class?

Some Canadian Red Cross first aid courses are indeed several hours to provide certification meeting legislation requirements for provincial/territorial worker safety and insurance boards. Another option available, however, is First Aid Basics.

Whether you’re a new parent, want to build confidence in responding to emergencies, or want to refresh and update your first aid skills, this course provides practical knowledge in the basics of first aid in 2 to 2.5 hours.

Learning first aid could help you save the life of a family member, neighbour, or loved one. In First Aid Basics, participants will gain an understanding of some essential lifesaving skills and how to provide care in situations requiring first aid.

A man showing how CPR is performed on a mannequin with a small crowd of people standing around him.Topics can be tailored to the specific interests of the learners, making this course suitable for a variety of audiences, including new parents, grandparents, caregivers for aging parents, or those with English as a second language. Workshop resources are available in English, French, Chinese, Punjabi and Hindi.

Being able to customize the course for its newcomer audiences, the Chinese Christian Mission of Canada (CCM) in British Columbia finds offering First Aid Basics beneficial. Over its four years of offering the course as a workshop, CCM has also expanded by providing it to participants in Montreal since 2019.

“[First Aid Basics helps to] raise safety awareness of newcomers, especially for the Chinese-speaking community,” says Elaine Chun, ministry director of community care, “The material and language we use are bilingual, it is a valuable program for non-English speaking people. Due to the pandemic, we run it in virtual for the safety of the participants.

She continues, "We will definitely extend our service to other provinces virtually when we gradually move back to normal. I am sure CCM can be an important partner in delivering safety education to the non-speaking community in Canada.”

A man standing by a podium, in front of a crowd of seated peopleCCM also offers certified first aid classes in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin. Elaine says one class participant used his new first aid knowledge to help someone and ended up receiving the Red Cross Rescuer Award for his quick thinking and know-how.

“He was on a hike and there was a girl who was having an asthma [attack],” explains Elaine. “He knew what to do to help her. He then received the Rescuer Award. He put those skills into practice, into real life.”

Canadian Red Cross Manager, Injury Prevention Lesley-Anne Morley is on a team delivering various Red Cross safety courses to Indigenous communities across Canada.

“We offer fire safety, water safety, first aid courses - and First Aid Basics is one of the courses we offer,” says Lesley-Anne. “First Aid Basics is one of those courses we’re finding a lot of success with because it’s not a certification course and can be done in a short time, and we’re able to modify it to meet the specific needs. For example, First Aid Basics for new parents would focus on first aid related to an infant. We customize a course for Indigenous youth, what they can do if they’re out in the community, forest, park, to be able to adapt to knowing first aid if a friend got hurt.”

If you want to gain essential first aid skills and don’t currently have the time to invest in a certification course, see how the course could be a fit for you and your needs.

Learn more about First Aid Basics.

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