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World First Aid Day: A Day Dedicated to Saving Lives

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie

Life Saver, NHCPS

posted on Sep 12, 2015 at 7:17 pm

LET’S TRAVEL BACK IN TIME, 150 YEARS AGO, to a battle in northern Italy. Businessman, Henry Dunant, was witness to extreme anguish and suffering among casualties of the battle of Solferino. In the mid-1800s, first aid certification didn’t exist. Dunant felt compelled to care for the wounded, especially women and children, taking them to temporary hospitals and providing each with supplies aimed towards healing the injuries from battle. Thus, first aid certification was born.

Now in 2015, the basic and absolutely necessary need for compassionate first aid intervention is still as essential as it might have been during its first years of development.planet earth with band aids applied

The Red Cross Red Crescent (RCR) National Societies have established first aid as the priority for the worldwide leaders of providing first aid education and services.

Since 2000, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has been hosting World First Aid Day on the second Saturday of every September in an effort to raise public awareness of just how big the impact of first aid and the ability to save lives in everyday situations really is.

While most healthcare professionals are required to be CPR, AED and First Aid certified, in recent years laypersons and those who are not in the healthcare industry have been encouraged to become certified due to the nature of the common first aid emergencies.

Why Everyone Should Become First Aid Certified

Have you ever considered how you would respond if someone began choking in public? What if you were the only witness? Would you perform the Heimlich maneuver, call 9-1-1 or do both? While this thought probably brings anxiety, First Aid certification is aimed at preparing those of all professions for these types of situations, which unfortunately can occur anywhere, to anyone and at anytime.

Every year more than 2,800 people, mostly children, choke to death (source: NY Times)

It’s crucial to understand when to call 9-1-1 and what intervention to take while waiting for help, as you can save the victim’s life during this short period of time. The practice of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is often necessary to prevent brain damage or even brain death. Every minute counts:

timeline of cpr before brain damage

Recent statistics have shown that sudden cardiac arrest is quickly becoming the leading cause of death in America. While EMS responders must be certified in CPR, they may take up to 10 minutes to arrive to the scene and by this time it could be too late.
CPR, AED, and First Aid certification covers a variety of both major and minor emergencies. While the process of certification, especially if an individual chooses online CPR, AED and First Aid certification, can take as little as an hour. The curriculum covered is broad to prepare the students for any emergency situation.

conditions that require first aid

How you can get involved with World First Aid Day

There are several means of involvement with World First Aid Day. Individuals can volunteer, donate and spread the word on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. If you wish to find out additional ways you can get involved, you can click here to be directed to

One of the most impactful ways to get involved with World First Aid Day is to become CPR, AED & First Aid certified. By becoming certified, you will be able to respond accordingly in a variety of situations:

cpr training icon

Point blank: Medical students, nurses, healthcare students, emergency responders and laypersons can and should become certified. Are you First Aid certified for World First Aid Day?

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

Contact Mackenzie at [email protected]


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