TAFE offers first aid lifeline

TAFE NSW First Aid Teachers Suzanne Reynolds and Cindy Williams.
TAFE NSW First Aid Teachers Suzanne Reynolds and Cindy Williams.

It's one of the most important skills in both the workplace and home, yet less than one in 20 of us are qualified to do it.

With that in mind, TAFE NSW Forbes has thrown a lifeline to local residents by offering an industry-leading short course in first aid.

The Statement of Attainment in Provide First Aid is a course that equips participants with skills and knowledge to empower them to take control of an emergency situation.

According to the Red Cross, Australia has one of the lowest rates in the world for first aid training, with less than five per cent of people trained in how to handle a medical emergency.

This is despite about 500,000 Australians being hospitalised annually for injuries, with about 12,000 of those people losing their lives.

Meanwhile, an average of 33,000 people suffer cardiac arrests in Australia each year with only 5 to 7 per cent of victims surviving.

"First aid is something you hope you never need but you never know when you will need it," TAFE NSW Forbes Nursing and First Aid Teacher Cindy Williams said.

"It's an amazing feeling to help someone and having these skills stops you from feeling helpless when you're confronted by an emergency."

Ms Williams said a first aid certificate was highly regarded by employers and was a prerequisite for some roles in industries like childcare, education, fitness and leisure, disability care, community services and health.

The TAFE NSW short course gives students the flexibility of eight hours pre-work online, followed by a day at your local TAFE NSW facilities for practice and assessment. The interactive day equips students with skills in basic life support, casualty management, CPR and use of a defibrillator.

"Anyone can do first aid, young and old; as long as you can physically get down on the floor, you can do it," Ms Williams said.

Safe Work Australia advises at least one in every 50 workers in an office environment and one in 25 workers in a higher risk environment, like a construction site, should have a first aid certificate.

To find out more about studying a first aid short course or a course in semester two at TAFE NSW Forbes phone 131 601 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au