An emergency medical situation in your workplace, home, or public space can be traumatising if you are not equipped with the skills and knowledge to provide immediate and effective first aid care. To ensure that you can always keep those around you safe from life-threatening emergencies, it is imperative that you receive first aid training. In this guide, we briefly answer 9 of the most common questions about first aid training. EMCARE offers accredited and professional first aid training that will equip you with the expertise and confidence to offer first aid care to your loved ones or colleagues.


First Aid Training Questions Answered:

Being prepared for an emergency medical situation with first aid training is essential for everyone. To assist you to take the important step of enrolling in a first aid course, we have answered 9 of the most common questions about first aid training.

1) What is Basic First Aid Training?

Basic first aid training is designed to enable you to act immediately and offer expert first aid care to a person experiencing a medical emergency until professional medical assistance can arrive. A basic first aid course will cover essential medical emergency skills, such as wounds and bleeding, head and spinal injuries, choking, burns, and fractures. In a basic first aid course, you will learn how to examine an injury or affected person, control excessive bleeding, alleviate trauma, and many other essential skills to prevent the situation from becoming worse for the affected person.

2) What Are the 3 Basic First Aid Skills?

While you will learn many practical and essential first aid skills, there are three basic skills that will be covered in all basic first aid courses. These skills include how to stop bleeding, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and setting a splint. These skills cover the most common and life-threatening medical emergencies you may face.


3) What Are the Golden Rules of First Aid?

We have listed the golden rules of first aid below.

  1. Act immediately.
  2. Use a systematic approach.
  3. Always assume it is something serious until more information is gained.
  4. Offer reassurance.
  5. Request professional medical assistance.

4) What Are the 5 Steps of First Aid?

DRABC, an acronym, is used to describe the first five steps anyone performing first aid in a medical emergency must perform. We have outlined the five steps below.

  1. Danger: Access the situation for any dangers.
  2. Response: Check the response of the affected person by assessing consciousness and vital signs.
  3. Airway: Check the airway for blockages.
  4. Breathing: Check respiration rates.
  5. Circulation: Give chest compressions if the person is not breathing.

5) What Are the ABCs in First Aid?

In a basic first aid course, you will learn how to deal with a medical emergency that includes a person losing consciousness. When a person is unconscious, you need to perform the ABC check. We have listed the first aid ABC below.

  1. A = Airway: Check the person’s airway for any blockages.
  2. B = Breathing: Determine if the person is breathing.
  3. C = Circulation: If the person is not breathing, perform chest compressions to restore blood circulation around the body.


6) What Are the First Aid Requirements for Organisations?

According to the South African Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993 (OHS Act), all business organisations must have at least one employee with first aid training for every 50 employees in the workplace. The first aid certificate must be from an accredited first aid training provider. If your business has less than 50 employees, it is still recommended to enrol employees in a basic first aid course to increase safety in the workplace and ensure preparedness for a medical emergency in the workplace.


7) Can I Study First Aid Without a Matric?

In South Africa, you can receive first aid training without a matric. This is to ensure that anyone interested in empowering themselves with first aid training has access to first aid courses. In certain cases, you may require a Grade 10 level of education and may need to be proficient in English in order to study specific first aid courses.

8) How Much Does a First Aid Course Cost in South Africa?

The cost of the first aid course will depend on the first aid course level you are enrolled in, the duration of the first aid course, and the specific first aid training provider you have selected. On average, you can expect a first aid course to cost around R2750 per individual candidate or R650 per individual candidate when enrolled with a group of 15 people or more.

9) How Long Does a First Aid Certificate Last in South Africa?

First aid certificates are valid for 3 years in South Africa. After 3 years, your certificate will expire and you will need to enrol in a first aid refresher course to receive an updated valid certificate. The 3-year expiration is to ensure that you are constantly kept up to date on the essential life-saving skills learned in the first aid course.

EMCARE First Aid Courses:

EMCARE is a health and safety training facility that offers accredited, high-quality, and affordable first aid courses. Our first aid courses are designed to ensure students walk away with the skills and confidence to take life-saving action in a medical emergency. Our first aid courses are offered by expert trainers who are qualified and have over 1000 hours of experience in emergency services. We have briefly outlined our four first aid courses.

  1. Basic First Aid / Refresher Course: One-day course that covers CPR, burns, fractures, wounds and bleeding, head and spinal injuries, shock, unconsciousness, fainting, artificial respiration, choking, and legal implications and ethics relating to emergency care.
  2. First Aid Level 1 Course: The First Aid Level 1 Course covers all the first aid training in the Basic First Aid / Refresher Course with an introduction to emergency care and increased competence in practical skills. This course is usually required as the first aid certification in workplaces.
  3. First Aid Level 2 Course: Building onto First Aid Level 1 Course, this course is an intermediate first aid course that provides extensive emergency care knowledge and teaches a high standard of patient care. You will learn in detail about paediatric patients and two-rescuer CPR.
  4. First Aid Level 3 Course: This advanced first aid course covers additional emergency care situations, such as emergency childbirth or water-related emergencies. This first aid training is imperative for workplace supervisors, people who work in hazardous environments, teachers and education professionals, security professionals, and first responders.


Gain essential first aid skills from EMCARE’s accredited and high-quality first aid courses.


First aid training is often considered by those who are looking to broaden their medical and responsive expertise, but first aid training is actually a life-saving necessary skill. Having the knowledge and skill set to act swiftly and decisively in an emergency situation could mean the difference between life and death, as such first aid training has increased greatly in recent years. This quick guide will give you a brief overview of the first aid training courses that Emcare offers.

Emcare is a reputable pioneer training academy assisting both individuals and teams in gaining the necessary qualifications and certification across a range of different industries. You can rest assured that all courses offered by Emcare are fully accredited with South African accreditation bodies, including HWSETA, LGSETA, the Department of Labour and the Department of Mineral Resources. Aside from accreditation, all courses are facilitated by fully qualified Level 6 Intermediate Life Support Paramedic’s, or a facilitator with a higher qualification with a minimum of 1000 hours experience in emergency services.

Basic First Aid/ First Aid Refresher Course (FAR)

This basic first aid course is ideal for anyone who is looking to gain some entry level knowledge about first aid and is the perfect steppingstone in broadening your emergency expertise. This course covers a range of first aid aspects and skills and is a popular choice for large groups who are looking to gain first aid training, including schools and companies. This course usually takes 1 day to complete (depending on group size) and the certificate (DOL/DME) is valid for 3 years.

  • Burns
  • Fractures
  • Wounds and bleeding
  • Choking
  • Shock, fainting and unconsciousness
  • Artificial respiration
  • Principles of Emergency Care and Safety
  • Emergency scene management
  • One rescuer Adult CPR
  • Head and spinal injuries
  • Emergency care equipment
  • Legal implications and ethics surrounding emergency care

First Aid Level 1 Course (FA1)

The First Aid Level 1 course is a popular choice because it is usually the minimum requirement that companies/individuals need to meet when they are being inspected by governing bodies, including the Department of Labour. The level 1 course is the first of the three levels of first aid training and Emcare offers discounts for leaners who are wanting to sign up for and complete all 3 levels of first aid training. This course offers learners an introduction into emergency care and will ensure that they are equipped to apply basic first aid in the event that an emergency arises.

This course should take a day and a half to complete and the certificate will be valid for three years, with DOL, DME, FPMSETA and HWSETA certifications available. Throughout the course learners will have the opportunity to explore both theoretical as well as practical components of first aid training. The Level 1 first aid course is delivered by registered health care professionals.

The First Aid Level 1 course covers:

  • Principles of emergency care and safety
  • Artificial respiration
  • Fractures
  • Burns
  • Shock, unconsciousness and fainting
  • Head and spinal injuries
  • One rescuer adult CPR
  • Emergency care equipment
  • Choking
  • Wounds and bleeding
  • Legal implications and ethics related to emergency care

First Aid Level 2 Course (FA2)

The First Aid level 2 course is the second course in the 3 levels of first aid training and will equip learners with extensive knowledge on patient care and emergency care. This course will take 2 and a half days to complete and the certificate is valid for 3 years, with DOL, DME, FPMSETA and HWSETA certifications available. This intermediate first aid course goes into more detail than level 1 and will go into subjects such as paediatric patients.

The First Aid Level 2 course covers:

  • Revision of level 1 content
  • Child and infant CPR
  • One and two rescuer CPR
  • Chest and eye injuries
  • Joint injuries
  • Abdominal pelvic injuries
  • Multiple injury management
  • Poison, bites and stings
  • Environmental illnesses and injuries
  • Chest pain, diabetes, epilepsy and convulsions
  • Elementary and applied anatomy and physiology
  • Drowning and diving accidents
  • Rescue carries
  • Emergency equipment

First Aid Level 3 Course (FA3)

The First Aid level 3 course is the highest first aid level and is classified as advanced. Level 3 first aid training is recommended for people with hazardous or dangerous jobs, workplace supervisors, and people without easy access to healthcare services, such as in remote areas. Level 3 covers and includes emergency childbirth and water-related emergencies, whereas level 2 does not and would be ideal for security professionals, emergency response teams (ERT’), first responders such as police or firemen, lifeguards, teachers and education professionals.

The level 3 first aid training course will take 4 days to complete and the certificate will be valid for 3 years, with DOL, DME, FPMSETA and HWSETA certifications available. This course is offered at all Emcare branches and agents, but can be arranged at your desired location for a group of 10 or more individuals. The course includes learner manuals, training equipment, A4 certificated and presentation equipment.

The First Aid Level 3 course covers:

  • Revision of level 1 and 2 first aid content
  • Water related emergencies
  • Behavioural emergencies
  • Emergency childbirth
  • Special patients and emergency oxygen therapy
  • Practical demonstrations and practical exercises
  • Written tests and practical exams

CPR and AED Course (AED)

The popular Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillation (AED) first aid training course is ideal for non-professional responders who are required to have CPR and AED training, such as health and fitness staff, swimming coaches, corporate, and industrial or retail employees. This course focuses on emergency situations including the heart and respiratory system and will educate learners on how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED). This will ensure that in the event of cardiac arrest, stroke, heart attack or airway obstruction, the learner will be able to effectively treat the patient until emergency medical services arrive to the scene. The certificate for this half day course will be valid for 3 years, with ECSI and ASHI certifications available.

The CPR and AED Course (AED) will cover:

  • Chain of survival
  • Universal precautions
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Emergency action steps
  • Sudden cardiac arrest
  • Rescue breathing
  • Airway management
  • Chest compressions
  • AED use and operation
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Foreign body airway obstruction- chocking

HIV/AIDS Awareness Course (AAT)

The HIV/AIDS Awareness course is an incredible course that aims to counter the stigmas and lack of education regarding HIV and AIDS. HIV/AIDS is a chronic disease that South Africa has been burdened with for generations. With infection rates still seeing a steady increase, it is paramount that both businesses and individuals take conscious effort to understand the disease, and to actively avoid unfair discrimination against individuals impacted by HIV/AIDS.

This course will ensure that staff and employers are effectively trained in how to handle a situation where an incident has caused bleeding. In these instances, it is essential that those staff are trained in these situations so that they will be able to minimise the chances of spreading infection. This course will take 2 days to complete and EMC ATT, LGSETA, FPMSETA and HWSETA certifications are available.

The HIV/AIDS Awareness Course covers:

  • Main aspects of HIV/AIDS
  • Common ways of HIV transmission
  • Symptoms of HIV/AIDS (with reference to stages)
  • Reducing the risk of transmission
  • Window period (difference between HIV and AIDS)
  • Basic applicable PEP treatment
  • Behaviours that promote HIV/AIDS
  • Medicines used for HIV infection
  • The immune system – antibody and antige
  • Hard truth about AIDS
  • Human immune system explained
  • Nonspecific immune system
  • Specific immune system
  • B cells and the antibody response
  • Memory cells
  • How HIV affects the immune system
  • How the virus lowers CDC4+ T cell count
  • Mother to child transmission (MTCT)
  • MTCT prevention (PMTCT)
  • Knowing if your baby is infected with HIV
  • VCT importance for HIV prevention
  • VCT service delivery models
  • Diagram of VCT benefits
  • Risk of HIV/AIDS in workplace
  • Blood safety
  • Constitutional rights of employees
  • Employee benefits for persons with HIV/AIDS
  • Grievance procedures for employees with HIV/AIDS
  • Dismissal or employees with HIV/AIDS
  • Management of HIV in the workplace
  • Summary or regulatory framework for HIV/AIDS in the workplace
  • Measures to deal with HIV/AIDS in workplace
  • Policy for developing a workplace HIV/AIDS programme
  • Consequences for not adhering to HIV/AIDS legislation
  • Summary of measures to deal with HIV/AIDS in the workplace
  • Role of employer in improving the life of workers with HIV/AIDS
  • Purpose of HIV/AIDS policy
  • Occupational health and safety as per HIV/AIDS policy
  • Confidentiality and disclosure as per HIV/AIDS policy
  • Principles of an effective HIV/AIDS programme in the workplace
  • Witness testimony
  • Practical workplace job and life-related application

First aid training: What every first aid kit needs Now that you’ve successfully completed your first aid training, you may be wondering what the next step is, and that is to equip yourself with a basic first aid kit that can be utilised in the event of an emergency. Your first aid kit should be kept in a cool and dry place that is out of reach of children, and ideally you should have one in both your home as well as in your vehicle

A basic first aid kit, according to the NHS, includes:

  • Plasters: you will need a variety of plasters in different sizes and shape
  • Gauze dressing: small, medium and large sterile dressing
  • Eye dressing: at least 2
  • Triangular bandages
  • Crepe rolled bandages
  • Safety pins: to secure bandages
  • Disposable sterile gloves: once you have used a pair of these gloves in any emergency medical situation you should immediately dispose of them and should not reuse them.
  • Tweezers: these can be effective at removing splinters, thorns, glass or debris in the skin from an accident.
  • Scissors: for cutting bandages and gauze to size. A small but sharp pair will be ideal.
  • Alcohol-free cleansing wipes
  • Sticky tape
  • Thermometer: ideally digital, to detect fevers or chills.
  • Rash cream: such as hydrocortisone or calendula.
  • Insect bite cream or spray
  • Antiseptic cream/ointment
  • Painkillers: Paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen, and the appropriate equivalent for infants or children under the age of 16.
  • Cough medicine: If you have children, ensure that it is an alcohol-free cough medicine.
  • Antihistamine cream or tablets: for allergic reactions, including topical
  • Distilled water for cleaning wounds
  • Eye wash and eye bath
  • EpiPen: this is not entirely necessary for all first aid kits but if you or a loved one is allergic to bees or has previously had an allergic reaction to insect bites or foods, then you should have one of these on hand. EpiPen’s deliver the drug epinephrine which, when administered to someone experiencing an allergic reaction, will stimulate the heart, raise a dropping blood pressure, reverse hives and reduce swelling of the face, throat and lips.

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