Should First Aid Training Be Required?

From Red Cross Chat

imageWith so many observances on the calendar these days, you may not have realized that Saturday, Sept. 12, was World First Aid Day. Now armed with this piece of trivia, you’re probably not surprised that the Red Cross is involved – first aid training is one of our areas of expertise. This year, our Red Cross colleagues in Europe pulled together a report about first aid trends that made us think – most would agree that first aid skills are fundamentally important, but what really motivates people to take a class?

The report tells us that, at least in Europe, it’s partly because they have to. First aid training is required for people who drive, work in industrial settings and care for children in many countries.

This bold approach means that Europeans are better prepared than most for a roadside accident, household emergency or workplace disaster. For example, the survey showed 95 percent of the population in Norway is trained in first aid. Close behind are Germany and Austria with 80 percent. And Iceland can boast that 75 percent of its people are trained. (Another set of trivia for your weekend social events)

Many U.S. states have also enacted laws that require CPR training for teachers and automated external defibrillators (AEDs) be placed in public buildings, but what do you think? Should first aid training be required in theUnited States?

To cast your opinion, take a few seconds to participate in our informal poll, and then let us know why you answered “yes” or “no” by commenting on this post.

If you answered “no”, we’re especially interested in alternative ideas – how can we increase the number of Americans able to respond to life’s emergencies? Our President & CEO Gail McGovern recently asked this question at the launch of our new national preparedness campaign – Do More Than Cross Your Fingers.

If we’ve piqued your interest, you can also learn more about our first aid training here at home and around the world. And if this discussion has motivated (or reminded) you to get trained, please contact your local Red Cross chapter to register for an upcoming course.

Photo: Frank Toussaint/Belgian Red Cross

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