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Media Releases | St John Ambulance
St John NT backs national call for driver first aid training
  18 Jan 2024

St John NT Director Ambulance Services Andrew Thomas has supported St John Ambulance Australia in their call for Australians to know how to perform vital first aid at the scene of a crash or roadside emergency.

Releasing the results of a new national survey1 of Australian adults, St John Ambulance Australia has found that when presented with road accident data, 4 in 5 Australian adults (78%) were supportive of equipping young people with basic first aid skills as part of achieving their driving permits.

“Anyone of us could become a bystander to a collision or other emergency when we are travelling as a driver or passenger,” said St John Ambulance Australia CEO Brendan Maher.

“Knowing how to keep calm, get help and perform basic first aid interventions, while waiting for an ambulance, is an important set of skills that can reduce someone’s injuries or save a life.”

St John NT has supported driver education in the Northern Territory through its free online driver first aid course, offered as part of the DriveSafe NT program, for over ten years, but it wants to see more.

“The last thing our paramedics want is to arrive on the scene of an accident where another family has lost a loved one,” said Mr Thomas.

“Young drivers are overrepresented in our road toll statistics, instead of encouraging young drivers to participate in these schemes it should be mandatory.

“By equipping our young drivers now, we are setting them up for long-term generational change in first aid and road safety.”

The national survey also found:

  • Women are more likely than men to think learner drivers should be equipped with training in basic first aid skills (81% compared to 75%).
  • Millennials are around twice as likely as Gen Z, Gen X or Baby Boomers to think this is unnecessary (20% compared to 12%, 9% and 12% respectively).
  • Australians who have children under 18 in the household are more likely than those who don’t to think learner drivers should be equipped with training in basic first aid skills (83% compared to 77%).
  • Less than half (41%) of drivers claim that they typically carry an adequately stocked first aid kit when driving.

St John’s free Learner Driver First Aid e-Learning course is available at While geared towards young people, the course content is available and relevant to anyone and is included the NT Government DriveSafe package.

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