First aid training should be compulsory for all people getting their drivers licence for the first time, or renewing their existing licence, according to a spokesperson from St John’s Ambulance.
Speaking to the ABC, St John Ambulance’s Victorian Chief Executive, Stephen Horton, said he he would like to see the proposed first aid pre-requisite rolled out across all states and territories.
Mr Horton said the training could be conducted as an online course and did not need to become a regulatory burden.
“The statistics are horrifying,” Mr Horton told the ABC.
“The science from overseas (says) up to 85 per cent of preventable pre-hospital deaths are around blocked airways.
“So drivers who come across the scenes of accidents or those involved in accidents, or indeed even passing by other incidents, could save a life simply by keeping an airway unblocked until paramedics arrive.
“Minutes matter when it comes to blocked airways, cardiac arrest as a result of trauma in road accidents.”
“Only about 14 per cent of Australians have any degree of first aid training,” he said.
“And that includes many who haven’t completed an accredited course, have perhaps just done some online training. It’s an incredibly low number.
“We all know the road are getting busier and there’s an increasing number of vehicles and young people have the chance to learn these life-saving skills early.”