On the 10th September the world marks World First Aid Day, an annual opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of first aid knowledge and skills to save lives, and to advocate for these to be accessible to everyone. This year’s theme for this day is domestic accidents, which refers to all the sudden and unexpected events that can occur at home and can cause injury or death.
For World First Aid Day, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is calling on communities worldwide to be equipped with life-saving skills, be it in times of everyday crises, disasters or conflicts. 90 per cent of lives in an emergency are saved by local people. In the most critical of times, bystanders are often the first to act before a professional arrives.
First Aid is used every day on the ground by Red Cross and Red Crescent staff and volunteers.
People with First Aid skills and the confidence to use them are heroes, regardless of where and who they are. This idea applies to any disaster: a disaster affecting thousands or a road accident in the middle of the day.
Time and again, we see first aid being put into action as the first step in the chain of survival, on the ground saving lives during conflicts, disasters or in everyday crises. One does not need to be a medical professional to make a difference. “Our vision and our commitment is that as many people, at any age, can be equipped with life-saving skills in their own community. Most of us have or will at some time encounter a situation where first aid is needed. Saving lives is a matter of skills that can be learned by everyone, everywhere.” said Elhad As Sy (IFRC, Secretary General).
The Red Cross Red Crescent has been the world’s leading First Aid trainer and provider for more than 100 years. In 2012, more than 14 million people were trained in 77 countries.
First Aid is a question of life and death. Knowledge and quick action performed by bystanders in the face of a crisis can make the difference. We rely on these everyday heroes to help save lives.