Law and First Aid

Legislation for first aid training is essential to ensure that large parts of the population are properly trained and willing to provide assistance in an emergency.

It is well accepted that first aid training is a critical and cost-effective means to save lives.  Wide-spread training of volunteers also increases the chances that a person with life-saving knowledge will be on the spot at a critical moment, pending the arrival of professional help. 

Legislation can play an important role in promoting first aid training and in making volunteers comfortable to lend their support in emergencies.  However, this potential has not been fully reached in all countries.  Against this background, a number of recommendations to states will be considered at the up-coming 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, including:

a)  consideration of the adoption of mandatory training requirements for first aid training, in particular in the workplace, in schools, and for driver’s license applicants,

b) consideration of enhancing official national standards for the quality/content of first aid training programmes, and

c) granting at least partial legal protection from liability for lay persons (particularly volunteers) who have first aid training and have provided first aid assistance in emergencies.