July 27, 2017 6:49 pm

St. John Ambulance and Alberta developer to offer First Aid training online

WATCH ABOVE: An Edmonton-based company is helping make first-aid training more accessible to more Albertans, in the hopes of saving even more lives. Emily Mertz has the details.

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St. John Ambulance has offered First Aid and CPR training across Canada since 1883. Now, it’s working with an Edmonton-based company to offer courses online.

Yardstick Testing and Training will help St. John Ambulance expand access to life-saving skills. They hope to have the e-learning platform done by January 2018.

“For the learners that are remote or in rural parts of the province, this online training program will open up all kinds of doors,” Yardstick president Greg Kureluk said.

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“It provides access to people who traditionally don’t have the ability to get into a city centre and spend one or two full days in the classroom setting.”

St. John Ambulance expects taking part of the course online will cut the in-person class time required by half. Applicants would still need to demonstrate their skills in-person to receive certification.

READ MORE: Do bystanders have a legal obligation to help in emergencies? 

“They would be able to learn the content and review the skills online in their own time,” explained Beverly Lafortune, St. John Ambulance’s vice-president of training and community services.

“However long that takes is obviously going to be up to the independent learner. They’re going to be able to learn at own pace. Then, we envision the in-class portion to be about six hours. So I think we’re going to be close to a 50/50 split… in terms of time.”

The developers will include several ways to verify the identity of the person taking the course online and track their study time.

“We’re looking at different combinations of technology and human service where we basically confirm the identity of the learner as well as confirm their attendance throughout the training program,” Kureluk said.

WATCH: How CPR and AED training can help save lives 

St. John Ambulance isn’t the first emergency training group to offer online courses but it hopes the e-learning option will lead to more people qualified to save lives and help others.

“We see a real opportunity market for people who may not need it for work — they may not need to be certified — but we’re going to make the online portion available to anybody who wants to learn first aid,” Lafortune said.

“It might be for parents, it might be for coaches, it might be for kids — people that just want to know.

“For those who need to be certified, I think it will improve the reach for some of the more remote locations. They’ll be able to learn all the content online and then register then for the in-class examination process.”

The current cost for a standard CPR course through St. John Ambulance is $165. Lafortune hopes to offer it online in two parts (and two payments to potentially offer some cost savings); the e-learning component and the in-person certification.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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