Basic first aid can save the life of someone who is injured due to choking, a heart attack, allergic reactions, or other medical emergencies. Correct and immediate first aid procedures can prevent unnecessary deaths. Remember to always seek professional medical help as soon as possible.

Effective ways to learn how to administer first aid basics:

  • Register for a paid class with a reputable organization.
  • Seek opportunities to get first aid training for free.
  • Study online through a reputable organization.

Free Classes
Many organizations and clubs offer basic first aid classes for their members. These include Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America. Some volunteer fire departments offer first aid training as part of their training. Most high schools teach first aid as a part of health education classes.

You could also encourage your employer to sponsor first aid training for employees. This is a win-win situation, as an informed workforce could not only save lives but decrease liability for the organization. 

Paid Classes
If you can’t find a free program or do not belong to a club that offers free training, you should consider paying for a class. The Red Cross is one of the most well-known providers of basic first aid and CPR classes. 

You register online and the written part of the class is online. You then bring your certificate of completion for the online portion to an instructor-led practical session, where you will get hands-on experience implementing what you have learned, including CPR. The classes vary from region to region and so do the prices, which depend on whether you take adult only or adult and pediatric first aid.

Online Classes
If you don’t have access to and cannot pay for an instructor-led course, then there are many websites that offer free instruction on basic first aid. Click here for an example Classwork includes how to help someone who is unconscious, how to treat minor cuts and burns, and other basic first aid.

While online coursework provides invaluable information, practice makes perfect. If you need to learn basic first aid for your job or volunteer work, then you will want to get into an instructor-led class where you can ask questions and practice basic first aid techniques and CPR.

Taking a class is a great way to learn first aid. However, without a properly stocked first aid kit, many first aid treatments are not effective. The American Red Cross supplies a list of what you will need.

Dressings and bandages:

  • 25 adhesive bandages of various sizes
  • 10 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches, 4 x 3 inches)
  • Gauze roll
  • Eyeshield or pad
  • Roll of adhesive tape
  • Elastic bandage for wrapping wrist, elbow, ankle and knee injuries (3 to 4 inches wide)
  • 2 triangular bandages for wrapping injuries and making arm slings
  • Sterile cotton balls and swabs


Bottom Line: Learning first aid basics is simple, easy, and fun. It’s definitely a skill everyone should learn especially for industries that rely on people knowing the basics.