'It's an amazing feeling to help save someone's life'
ALARMING statistics have revealed an average of 33,000 people suffer cardiac arrests in Australia each year and only 5 to 7 per cent of victims are surviving.
According to the Red Cross, Australia has one of the lowest rates in the world for first aid training, with less than 5 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.
As a result, TAFE NSW Kingscliff, Lismore, Ballina and Wollongbar have all 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 an 18-hour course that equips participants with skills and knowledge to empower them to take control of an emergency situation.
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Nursing and First Aid, Anthony Rogers, said: "First aid is something you hope you never need but you never know when you will need it.
"It's an amazing feeling to help save someone's life and having these skills stops you from feeling helpless when you're confronted by an emergency."
Mr Rogers 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 campus 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," Mr Rogers said.
He said some past students had extraordinary stories to tell.
"Recently, a student told me he was so glad he had learned First Aid skills at TAFE NSW because just a few weeks after the course he came across a car accident and could provide assistance. He was surprised at how calm he was, and believes it was because he knew what to do and how to prioritise his actions in the situation."
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 phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.