ITV Tonight encourages members of the public to learn the skills to save a life

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Thousands of lives could be saved every year if members of the public knew even basic first aid, concluded last night’s ITV Tonight programme.

St John Ambulance’s Heather Arrowsmith featured in the documentary on 7 February, to discuss why members of the public may be reluctant to intervene in an emergency situation, and just how vital basic life saving skills can be. Current figures show that bystander intervention can have a profound effect on the chance of survival of somebody who experiences a sudden cardiac arrest.

In the UK, a person who experiences a cardiac arrest in the street has just an 18% chance of survival, whereas in Norway, where first aid education has been an important part of everyone’s lives from an early age, that figure rises to over 50%.

The documentary also featured first aid training in schools and supported a call to make first aid in schools mandatory. Robyn Cooke, 14, was also interviewed by ITV, after she was able to save the life of her friend Megan because of the first aid she learnt with SJA at her primary school.

Each year, up to 140,000 people die in situations where first aid could have given them a chance to life. St John Ambulance wants to encourage as many people as possible to learn essential first aid, either through a first aid course or by using one of our free resources such as the St John Ambulance free first aid app or our easy to follow first aid videos.