• What is First Aid?


    When you understand first aid, you'll gain the ability to help those in need. Through our first aid certification classes you'll learn how to respond to specific situations, which will help you care for people in crisis as they wait for medical professionals to arrive. This gives them the best opportunity for a positive outcome – and gives you the opportunity to change someone's life for the better.

    What You'll Learn

    Designed to help non-medical professionals provide assistance in times of crisis, our courses allow you to gain an understanding of first aid best practices for a wide range of conditions, including:

    • Asthma emergencies
    • Anaphylaxis
    • Burns
    • Choking
    • Diabetic emergencies
    • External bleeding and severe trauma
    • Environmental emergencies
    • Heart Attack
    • Poisoning
    • Neck, head and spinal injuries
    • Stroke
    • Seizure

    In addition, our first aid classes typically cover information on administering CPR and using AEDs – allowing you to become certified in all three (first aid, CPR and AED) in one convenient class.

    Why First Aid is Important

    • It Helps You Stay Prepared.
      The goal of first aid is twofold. First, it helps you recognize the signs that someone actually needs help and, second, it prepares you to respond when minutes matter. Remember, an emergency can happen when you least expect it, whether you're at home with your family, at work, at the grocery store, or hiking on a nature trail. While it may be something as simple as properly caring for cuts and scrapes, it can also be a lifesaving tool that keeps someone alive until help arrives. That's why the importance of first aid training should never be overlooked.

    • It Doesn't Take Long to Learn.
      First Aid training can fit into everyone's busy schedule. It only takes a few hours and it can give you the skills and confidence to respond to an emergency, take action, and, in critical situations, even save a life. You'll find classes that are designed for the way you live and learn, with options available on weekdays and weekends in a variety of formats (e.g., in-person, online-only, or blended learning).

    • It Looks Good on a Resume.
      Even if your employer (or potential employer) doesn't require training like CPR, First Aid and others, it still looks great on your resume. By enrolling in these types of classes, it shows that you took the initiative to get valuable, lifesaving instruction. To add it to your resume, just create a “Special Skills” or “Certifications” section and list it under there along with any relevant context. For instance, if you’ve had experience using first aid as a volunteer firefighter, lifeguard, babysitter or child caregiver, include that in a brief sentence.

    Types of Classes

    At the Red Cross, you can choose the type of class you want based on your scheduling needs and/or your learning style. We currently offer three types of classes, including:

    • In Person: Delivered in a traditional classroom setting, our in-person first aid courses combine lecture with hands-on skills sessions. The course culminates with testing, which allows participants to receive a two-year certification.

    • Online With instruction provided virtually, these self-paced courses can help you understand first aid best practices. However, online safety training courses do not allow you to demonstrate your skill proficiency to a certified instructor, and therefore your certification may not meet the requirements for workplace safety.

    • Blended Learning Learning: Featuring award-winning simulation learning, our blended learning programs combine self-paced, interactive instruction and in-person skills sessions. Blended Learning courses allow you to learn on your schedule, then demonstrate your skills to a certified instructor.

    Why Train With the Red Cross

    Red Cross CPR Training Saves Lives

    Reid Heiser, Life Saver
    One week after 17-year-old Reid completed his Red Cross CPR training, he needed to use it. In November 2011, Reid saved the life of Jim Hammer after he collapsed at the recreation center where Reid worked. Now friends, they share their story.

    Red Cross training matters
    For more than a century, we've prepared people to respond to emergencies of all sizes - from the everyday to the large disaster. Join the millions we train every year and learn the skills that can save a life.

    "Without my friend's training, I would not be here"
    - Watch Bre Dumke's Story

    "The first 7 minutes are critical"
    - Watch More