First Aid

Image: IFRC

The Red Cross is the world's leading first aid operator both in providing aid as well as training. First aid is often included in development cooperation programmes: first aid skills are taken to schools, women's groups or to the entire community as a part of disaster preparedness.

First Aid:

  • Saves lives and relieves the effects of accidents.
  • Provides help quickly, even saving lives, before professional help arrives on the scene.
  • Supports people in maintaining their own health and prevents accidents.
  • Provides psycho-social support for the injured or sick and their loved ones.

The Red Cross volunteers receive high quality professional first aid training. The guidelines are always approved by the national authorities.

First aid training is modern and observes everyday situations. In addition to first aid in cases of serious injuries and CPR skills, the training focuses on healthy life styles and new threats in the changing world, amongst others things. When necessary, the skills can be updated with various educational packages, some of which are offered online.

The Red Cross aims to bring first aid skills to all people regardless of their education, age or gender. First aid training improves the possibilities of communities to offer help to anyone in need without discrimination.

The 186 national organisations of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent offer training based on cross-border know-how. Also common operations models are used: 50 national organisations agreed on the standards, curriculum and minimum training requirements of the European First Aid network.

First aid means helping people in distress

“The importance of first aid skills often only becomes obvious after disasters and catastrophes.

I've had the pleasure of participating in the development of first aid training with the Red Cross in Thailand after the tsunami. During the reconstruction following an earthquake in Pakistan, I got to know a women's first aid group that aimed to increase the preparedness of women for natural disasters.

These two countries are very different from Finland, but the basic principle of first aid is very similar: helping another person in a case of emergency.

Development cooperation allows us to bring first aid skills to everyday situations in such a way that a major disaster is not needed in order to create a desire to help others. Helping others is a natural part of our lives. And naturally, also the ability to act in cases of natural disasters, for example, is also much better.”

Henna Korte, Delegate of the Finnish Red Cross