2016 First Aid Changes

Some of you will be aware that little changes were made in 2016-7 to first aid training. The good news is that nothing hugely significant changed (in our opinion) but there are a few points that you need to know about. Come see us in class to practice.

We Changed the Emphasis

We’ve added more to the course about preparing to respond. After all, you need to be ready to help. The course includes topics like “the bystander effect” – which is best explained as ‘everyone assuming someone will do something… but no-one does’. There’s clear information around consent, the law, fear of doing something wrong, etc.

Check, Call, Care and The ABCs

ABC children's blocks
These topics remain the same. You’ll be glad to know that if you come to class you’ll be practicing the same CPR we’ve taught for years. However if you were in one of the low quality courses we’ve been hearing about and you weren’t taught both breaths and compressions, well you need to find a competent instructing team (ahem!).

Recovery Position

We changed it. No, we didn’t. Well look, it’s gone from “you must do it this way” to “put them in recovery position”. Come to class and experiment with the various methods.


Another topic that changed, but didn’t. Again we’ve moved from the prescriptive “do this then this” to a more practical approach of “do what works” and if it doesn’t work, try something else.


They’re back. Look, we know there are arguments about this and lots of back & forth over the years. Still, they save lives. Which is the first of the 3 Ps. So use them appropriately when necessary.

broken heartMental Health

We’ve said for a while that it would be coming to the new training books and here it is. A whole new section on mental health crisis and how we might be able to help people in needed. Including a brief overview of potential signs of suicidal intent.

There’s More

OK, look, those were the major changes. But there are a few tweaks as well: concussions, cardiovascular emergencies, goodbye ‘Frostnip’,  chest injuries, more information on poisoning, the Foundations of First Aid. Well, you’ll se when you get to class. (Does not apply to OFA courses – these changes are still to be announced.)

Your Certificate

It’s still valid! Just because things change, you can still stick to what you were taught already and not be wrong. Until the certificate expires of course. Remember where the course schedule is once you get close to your renewal date. We’ll see you in class soon.


About Tony Howarth

Tony is a First Aid & CPR Instructor Trainer with Sea 2 Sky Safety Training Services and the company founder. Tony started with the British Red Cross in 1994. Has acted as first aid attendant for hundreds of events & treated many hundreds of people as a result. He is experienced in training a wide range of courses. He previously worked as an ambulance attendant with the British Red Cross. He is now in BC as a first aid instructor, and an instructor trainer (one who trains others to become instructors) Finally, Tony works at Squamish General Hospital as the pharmacist manager when not busy training safety
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