We have a simple but powerful message at St Andrew’s First Aid.
We firmly believe that nobody should suffer or die because they needed first aid and didn’t get it.
However, creating a nation of confident life-savers has its challenges.
That is why we have made it our ambition to implement first aid confidence at a grass root level and reach as many young people across Scotland as we can, by campaigning to have first aid training introduced as part of the primary school timetable.
Equipping children – even those as young as five years old – with first aid skills that will enable them to help save lives, ultimately supports them to become responsible citizens and effective contributors to society.
Providing these skills in a safe environment and targeting young people who might not otherwise have access to first aid training can make a huge difference to local communities as well as to the individuals themselves.
Several European governments, notably Italy and Germany, mandate at least two hours of first aid training per pupil per year.
This year will see the start of a roll out of basic first aid and CPR training to all secondary schools in England following the passing of new legislation in 2019.
Scotland must not be left behind.
Research clearly shows that first aid training for school pupils establishes a sense of responsibility at an early stage and provides more than just a skill for life.
Having the confidence to intervene in an emergency situation provides broad reaching social skills and leadership qualities that are otherwise hard to match.
Our goal is to provide all state primary schools in Scotland with the opportunity to learn basic first aid and to equip teachers with the necessary materials and support to deliver impactful, valuable and long term skills to pupils, in a fun and engaging way.
The advantages of instilling our future generations with a sense of responsibility and confidence to intervene in an emergency situation are vast and we should not underestimate the contribution that each and every individual can make in helping to save a life.
We very much welcome The Courier’s campaign.
Its ambitions will support our own efforts to engage with schools, local councillors, government bodies and MSPs to bring first aid into the hearts and minds of those with the power and opportunity to help transform Scotland into a nation of lifesavers.
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