First Aid in Schools, skills for life

First aid - 31 Mar 2023

“When I grow up, I want to be a paramedic”


This sentence was music to Anna Young’s ears, and when she heard these words from a Queensland Primary School student, she knew what she was doing was making a difference in more ways than one.

St John Ambulance’s First Aid in Schools program, as seen on the Today show, has been operating for over four years and trained 21,000 students in 2022 alone!

“The intention of the program is trying to normalise emergency response at a young age so kids will grow to feel empowered that they will be able to help in an emergency, says Anna.

We teach the foundations of first aid in an age-appropriate manner. Our prep to grade two students learn to recognise danger, basic response and why it is important to go to a trusted adult get help, the process of calling triple zero and the questions they will be asked, and not to be fearful of using the service.

Our grade three and four students learn Danger, Response, Send for Help, Airways, and Breathing, so they are learning how to check an airway on someone who is unconscious, checking for breathing, and how to roll a person into the recovery position.

Our grade five and sixes are learning how to build on all those skills up to CPR.

We’ve researched heavily into the best way to deliver the program to kids – and we have found that they learn best when content is delivered through activities and encouraging them to feel safe to interact and ask questions.

All our curriculum is delivered in a nurturing and fun way.”

And for Anna, who speaks so passionately about the program, it’s not slowing down anytime soon…

“We’ve serviced Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Brisbane, Logan, the Gold Coast – and now we have taken the program online. We have also taken the program up to the Northern Territory border and up past Townsville.

“We know the program is working because when we return to the same schools, we have students that come up to us and recall what they have learnt through the program.

A total of 26 schools have signed up this year already.

What is even more rewarding is we’ve heard a lot of stories from parents and teachers where kids are practically using the skills learnt either in the classroom, at home and in the community.

It is work that is making a difference,” smiles Anna.

If you would like your school to participate in this year’s St John Ambulance’s First Aid in Schools program, please click here to register your details.