Research by health and first aid charity St John Ambulance reveals few feel confident using first aid skills and is urging – on World First Aid Day – for more people to learn and renew simple life-saving skills.
The survey found 1 in 4 (25% – but only 14% in Yorkshire and the Humber) have saved a life, and, of those in the region, 75% have saved a family member, 75% a friend, 63% a work colleague, and 69% a stranger.
First aid skills
St John Ambulance conducted the survey of 1,000 young people aged 10–17 and 1,000 adults in the UK. This coincided with its Ask Me campaign to highlight its work helping members of the public gain the skills that help them save lives where they live and work.
But just 14% of those surveyed, who live in Yorkshire and the Humber, said they felt ‘very confident’ in first aid skills. This compared to 29% overall of those surveyed – a figure St John Ambulance wants to see improve.
St John is encouraging more people, and ‘tomorrow’s life-savers’ to join one of its core five youth programmes to gain first aid skills for life, as well as confidence and leadership skills.
The survey also asked what first aid skills people wanted to learn – with heart attacks and choking being the two health threats people wanted to know how to treat, and 20% keen to know how to respond and treat a knife wound.
When it came to defibrillators, Londoners (59%) those in the West Midlands (54%) and in Northern Ireland (63%) had the greatest knowledge of where the nearest one to their home was located – with just 37% of people in our region being aware of their nearest.
Younger generations had slightly better first aid awareness and confidence than older people, and it’s worth noting that teaching first aid in schools in England has been compulsory since 2020. Three thirds (75%) agreed that mental health first aid should be taught alongside physical first aid in schools.
St John Ambulance
St John Ambulance is England’s leading first aid and health response charity. Director of youth and education at St John Ambulance, Paul Evans, said:
“Our youth programmes are thorough, fun, and a great way to develop confidence, life skills and make new friendships. And as our survey shows, skills learnt could well be used to save the life of a family member or friend.”
Schools can now take advantage of St John’s iDEA Badge – a free, digital first aid badge which aims to work alongside the compulsory teaching of first aid in schools. The badge takes no longer than 40 minutes to complete and covers advice for how to CPR and using a defibrillator, recovery position, chest pain, severe bleeding and choking. More information is available at: First Aid | iDEA.