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First Aid, Air Cadets, St John's Ambulance, HeartStart

First Aid

The Air Cadet Organisation provides skills for life and one of the most useful of these is the ability to deal with a first aid situation. Every cadet who joins the ACO will receive the opportunity to learn life-saving skills. This training is not only useful on many of the activities we offer, including the Duke of Edinburgh Award, but are also useful in day-to-day life.
Below is information on the First Aid training packages that are offered by the Air Cadet Organisation:


The HeartStart syllabus concentrates on providing each new cadet with the essential emergency life-saving skills. As part of the First Class Cadet syllabus every cadet will be taught the HeartStart syllabus. This short course is normally split over a couple of parade nights or a weekend and you will be working with a group of cadets to complete the training so there is no pressure.

The aim of the HeartStart course is to provide an understanding of:

  • assessing an unconscious patient,
  • performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR),
  • dealing with choking,
  • managing serious bleeding,
  • helping someone that may be having a heart attack,
  • placing someone in the recovery position.

When you have completed the HeartStart syllabus you will have the ability to assist in a First Aid situation, either on Squadron or out and about in the public. You will also receive the HeartStart certificate on completion of your training.
More information on the British Heart Foundation HeartStart Award can be found here.

First Air, Air cadet, St john's First Aid, HeartStart

St John Young First Aider

If you want to take your first aid training further the Air Cadet Organisation offers the St John Young First Aider qualification. Designed to be more in-depth than the HeartStart programme, the St John Youth First Aid qualification covers the below:

  • Asthma
  • Choking
  • Communication & Casualty Care
  • Primary Survey
  • Recovery Position
  • Bites and stings
  • Bleeding (minor)
  • Bleeding and shock
  • Burns and scalds
  • Foreign objects
  • Poisons
  • Bone, muscle and joint injuries
  • Chest pains
  • Electric shock
  • Fainting
  • Resuscitation

To pass the Youth First Aid Award you will need to be tested on what you have learned. This usually takes the form of a number of scenarios where you will need to put your first aid skills to the test. Once you have finished these practical sessions there is usually a quick question and answer session with your assessor.

If you are successful you will be awarded the St John Ambulance Young First Aider badge for your uniform and be presented a certificate for your records. The HeartStart and Young First Aider Awards are also a great way to prepare for first aid competitions such as those held at the Wing Activities Day.

More information on the St John Ambulance Young First Aider Award can be found here.