TAFE NSW offers a first aid lifeline to Bega residents

It's one of the most important skills in both the workplace and home, yet less than one in 20 of us are qualified to do it.

TAFE NSW First Aid teacher Georgie McInerney teaching life-saving skills to student Sandra Davis.

TAFE NSW First Aid teacher Georgie McInerney teaching life-saving skills to student Sandra Davis.

With that in mind, TAFE NSW Bega has thrown a lifeline to local residents by offering an industry-leading short course in first aid on Thursday June 13.

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.

According to the Red Cross, Australia has one of the lowest rates in the world for first aid training, with less than five 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.

Meanwhile, an average of 33,000 people suffer cardiac arrests in Australia each year and only five to seven per cent of victims surviving.

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Nursing and First Aid, Cheryl Bradshaw, 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."

Ms Bradshaw 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," Ms Bradshaw said.

She said some past students had extraordinary stories to tell.

"A mum did the course recently and a few weeks later was at a family gathering and a small child fell into the pool," she said. "She was able to apply what she learned and resuscitate the child and now she's made her whole family complete the course at TAFE NSW."

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.

The course will be offered at TAFE NSW Bega Connected Learning Centre on Thursday June 13.

To find out more about studying a first aid short course at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au

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