Many people experience at least one incident in their daily lives in which proper training in first aid would be extremely useful. A child may injure himself or herself on a playground, for example, or a restaurant patron could choke on his or her food. An elderly church member may collapse suddenly from a heart attack, or a fisherman could have an allergic reaction to an insect bite. Many people seek out professional first aid training, either for personal enrichment or as part of their employment. Finding the best free first aid training can be challenging, but there are several different sources available for those who want to learn the basics of first aid.
One of the best sources for free first aid training is the public library. Most public libraries should have several different first aid manuals and medical guides available for public check-out. These free first aid materials are generally written by medical professionals for a general audience, and should include instructive illustrations as well as step-by-step advice on handling basic medical emergencies. There should also be books in other sections of the library which include chapters on first aid, such as the Boy Scout or Girl Scout handbooks or books on camping or kitchen safety. A public library may also have videotapes or DVDs which feature free first aid advice and techniques.
Another source for free first aid training could be a local hospital or public health organization, such as the American Red Cross. Many hospitals and Red Cross chapters offer free courses on specific first aid techniques, including cardio-pulmonary resuscitation(CPR) and the Heimlich maneuver. Other free first aid courses could include basic first aid for outdoor activities or first aid for the office environment. During public health fairs, trained medical professionals may offer free courses on essential first aid techniques.
While it may not be considered free first aid training, some companies will absorb the cost of first aid classes for employees who would benefit from such training. Managers and supervisors in the restaurant industry, for example, may benefit from basic first aid courses geared towards the type of injuries and medical emergencies commonly experienced in restaurant environments. Teachers and others who routinely deal with large groups of children may also be eligible for free first aid training sponsored by their school systems. This type of occupational first aid training is often provided by a trained nurse, paramedic or other medical professional. Private courses sponsored by employers can be tailored to meet the specific needs of a particular industry. Employers may also agree to sponsor Red Cross first aid courses in CPR or emergency treatment of common injuries.