Imagine yourself sitting at the family dining table and someone starts to choke on a piece of meat, or you are on your way to a well-deserved family holiday and you are involved in a motor vehicle accident and your child is suffering from a fractured leg, or a colleague at work gets his arm amputated in a piece of machinery and is bleeding out right in front of you… Are you prepared to assist a sick or injured person in an emergency when time is critical in saving their lives? If your answer is yes, you might need to consider getting yourself a first aid certificate through an accredited basic first aid training provider! Give someone else a second chance at life by preparing yourself to act confidently in an emergency situation by completing an accredited first aid training course!
What is a first aid certificate?
When you successfully complete a basic first aid training course you will receive an accredited first aid certificate. A first aid certificate is valid for a period of 3 years and is a legal requirement of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, when there are more than 10 employees working in a workplace. This does not mean that you should only know basic first aid if you are employed, as first aid can come in handy at any moment!
A first aid certificate is not only issued for just basic first aid training courses, but will also be issued when you complete any of the three levels of first aid. First Aid Level 2 and 3 contains more advanced information and lifesaving skills than the basic first aid that is taught in a Level 1 course. We strongly recommend that you keep your first aid certificate up to date and that you push yourself to eventually complete the Level 3 First Aid Course in order to have a good grounding of emergency intervention skills in most scenarios.
Why do you need a first aid certificate?
A first aid training course will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to intervene with lifesaving interventions to assist in an emergency! As a qualified first aider you will increase a sick or injured person’s chances of survival e.g. if you start with immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and early defibrillation you could increase a cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival by up to 75%! However, their chances of survival decreases by 10% for every minute these interventions are delayed. Cardiac arrest is not only caused by heart attacks but is also commonly seen in drowning victims, choking victims, etc.
A common life-threatening intervention that can be applied by individuals with a valid first aid certificate is bleeding control in instances where an open fracture or a deep laceration has led to profuse arterial bleeding. If you have not received adequate training you may not be confident in applying direct pressure, and delaying patient treatment which could lead to the patient bleeding to death in less than 5 minutes! Being prepared for this is extremely important and we therefore recommend that everyone receives basic first aid training and being in possession of a valid first aid certificate.
What happens if you don’t have a first aid certificate?
For the ordinary person who is not bound by the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act nothing will happen to you if you have not completed a first aid training course. But how would you feel if you failed to assist a loved one in an emergency because you didn’t attend a 2-day basic first aid training course compared to saving that person’s life and having him/her around for many more years?
In the workplace the General Safety Regulation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires every employer who employs more than 10 employees to ensure that at least 1 employee for every group of 50 employees holds a valid first aid certificate (1:100 for shops and office environments). The first aider/s has to be available during normal working hours which means if you have a 24-hour working environment there has to be enough first aiders available for all shifts. Training must be conducted through an accredited training provider as is stipulated in the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Failure to comply with this could result in fines, imprisonment of up to 6 months or both!
Accredited first aid training course
Always ensure that your chosen first aid training course provider is an accredited provider and meets the requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The General Safety Regulation Section 3(4) states that providers accredited for this purpose are the SA Red Cross Society, St John’s Ambulance, the SA First Aid League or any organisation approved by the chief inspector (Department of Labour) for this purpose. The Department of Labour (DOL) only approves a First Aid training provider if they already hold SETA accreditation. It is therefore important to request a copy of the SETA and DOL certificates before booking your first aid training course!
Absolute Health Services holds HWSETA accreditation to offer first aid training for all 3 Levels of First Aid training as well as DOL accreditation. Over and above we are also accredited by the South African Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (SAIOSH), the Emergency Care & Safety Institute (ECSI) and the Resuscitation Council of Southern Africa. Our instructors are all qualified and registered paramedics with many years’ worth of pre-hospital emergency care. Their experience assists them in providing students the ultimate training experience by giving real-life practical examples to assist understanding and adequately preparing candidates wishing to gain a first aid certificate. Our first aid training courses are practically based to ensure candidates leave the training knowing exactly how to put what they have learned into practise in any environment!