If first aid training were a mandatory requirement for children where they would learn a bit more each year, going from the very basics such as identifying an emergency situation and knowing when to call 911, later advancing to CPR and AED training think about the number of qualified people that would be present in the event of a medical emergency.
It might begin by teaching kids how to identify, cope and deal with an emergency. These are vital skills that should not be optional but rather mandatory for school children. This is certainly one way to get the message out into the public by offering mandatory, through out the school year, no cost first aid training.
This will help children and teens to be trained in first aid life supporting skills and to know what to do in the event of a medical emergency situation. As it stands now, no one really knows who or how many people have life saving skills within a typical school day, including faculty. Some schools still have school nurses but many do not.
This would generally be a subject of interest to school aged people although it has been noted that CPR would not be introduced until late middle school or high school because prior to that the child does not have the strength required to properly apply the chest compressions.
One issue that needs to be addressed is the fact that most people have a hard time remembering how to do something after a period of time when they are not utilizing it, such as CPR. However it should not be something that is taught once and then left alone, it needs to be reiterated on again and again because of the grave importance of it.
If you ask most children very basic first aid questions, some would do well with the questioning to a degree but others still think that band aids are for bruises. Most would know what a first aid kit is but would likely not know most of the components or what they are used for. Fortunately most kids know what 911 is and when to call and many have heard the term CPR but have no clue what it is or how to administer it, or even why they would have to. Forget AED, it is likely that most high school students are even clueless about that gadget. With the ever pending threat of terrorist attacks and the increase in school violence, more people need to know how to handle crisis situations, even if it is the students.
When you examine what some of the kids are learning today within the boundaries of school there is little doubt that the importance and significance of first aid training in its entirety would not be of great benefit to the students and the community. Introduce students to an AED machine and teach them how to use one in the event of someone having a cardiac arrest and show them the correct way to administer CPR. After all, how else will they learn?