World First Aid Day

The second Saturday of September is dedicated to how first aid can save lives across the world. It was first held in 2000 by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) who continue to mark the day with events and ceremonies.

The IFRC have been championing humanitarian work for over 100 years having been founded in the aftermath of World War One. Their mission is to support and promote networks that alleviate human suffering and encourage global peace.  

On September 10th, 2022, World First Aid Day is an opportunity to reflect on your skills and how they can be put to good use. First aid should be accessible to all, both those in need and those who wish to learn how to offer it. The IFRC believe that:  

“First aid is an act of humanity showing willingness to save lives with full respect for diversity and without discrimination. Building skills in first aid with the vulnerable people can help to build safer and healthier communities.”

As medical students and professionals, you already have more than the basic skills required to perform first aid. But what other opportunities could you explore? How could you use your skills and knowledge to benefit the wider community?

There are many answers to these questions. One idea is to look at volunteering opportunities in your area that would be grateful for your expertise. In the UK, for example, you could explore roles with St John’s Ambulance who provide support both within the NHS and at external events such as festivals and football matches.  

Ultimately, World First Aid Day is a chance to reflect on your skills and look at long-term ways you can use them to benefit your community. This may be through volunteering or just taking a moment to acquaint yourself with IFRC’s values and how you can incorporate them into your practice in the future.