First aiders at risk from fade

ST John Ambulance is urging Northumberland’s first aiders to take an annual refresher to help them remember exactly what they need to do in an emergency.

The Health and Safety Executive strongly recommends that first aiders attend a refresher course every 12 months and official protocol and best practice can change, leaving people out of date with current methods.

In the past year, St John Ambulance has trained 3,683 people in the Northumbria area.

However, only 313 people have taken a refresher course, despite the organisation offering them for free or half price in some cases.

St John Ambulance Regional Director Graham Henry said: “It is important that first aiders brush up on their first aid knowledge every year to avoid what we call ‘skills fade’.

“To be faced with an emergency situation and then struggle to remember your first aid training as it was so long ago can be a traumatic experience.

“Most people who take part in a refresher course are relieved to be given the chance to practise without the stress of a real life emergency.”

Anyone who takes the three-day first aid at work course gets the three-hour skills refresher free a year later. For those who do the one-day emergency first aid at work course, the refresher course is half price.

For more details on training courses telephone 0844 7704800 or book online at