Five in every hundred Australians knows First Aid – Flying Doctor says that needs to change

Date published

03 Nov 2020
Peter Brendt

Five in every hundred Australians knows First Aid – Flying Doctor says that needs to change

According to a 2017 Australian Red Cross study, only five per cent of Australians have been first aid trained, which is one of the lowest rates in the world.

This Saturday, September 12th is World First Aid Day. Royal Flying Doctor Service (South Eastern Section) (RFDSSE) is taking the opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of knowing how to provide first aid.

More than 33,000 Australians suffer from heart attacks each year, and under 10% of sufferers survive. Team Leader of Emergency Services Dr Peter Brendt says it was important people across the whole community were equipped to save lives.

"World First Aid Day is a reminder for all Australians to enrol in a first aid training course or update their previous training," Dr Brendt said.

"First aid is critical for people to know because you just never know when you might need to provide assistance and potentially save a life," Dr Peter Brendt said.

Dr Brendt said it was important that people remember they don't have to have the skills of a paramedic or doctor to save someone life. 

"Having the skills to tend to someone who has suffered a heart attack is invaluable. The longer you delay CPR the less likely someone is to make a recovery," Dr Brendt said. 

"Just by responding to an incident right away, you can give someone their best chance of survival." Dr Brendt said. 

St John Ambulance NSW and Red Cross offer basic, advanced and online first aid training, making it incredibly easy to become accredited. To enrol in a first aid course, or learn more, visit:

Remember to always call triple zero (000) in case of emergency and to note down the Flying Doctor Emergency Numbers if you are travelling in remote areas. 

Photos available on request. Media contact: Lily Cardis on or 0436 622 802