First Aid goes virtual through ground-breaking training technology

Press Release

An evolution in global first aid instruction is set to be unveiled in Perth today with the launch of mobile and virtual reality training technology pioneered by St John Ambulance WA.

The technology, called First Aid Skills, allows users to respond to a virtual emergency, helping hone lifesaving skills and making first aid a part of everyone’s life.

Using a mobile app or a virtual reality headset, First Aid Skills, guides users through three unique training simulations – CPR, defibrillation and the DRSABCD action plan. Sensors linked to a resuscitation manikin provide feedback on things like the correct rate of compression during CPR and breathing frequency.

Designed by St John WA over the last 12 months, First Aid Skills is being launched at Yagan Square in the Perth CBD to coincide with national Restart a Heart Day, an initiative to promote greater awareness and use of CPR and defibrillators.

St John CEO Tony Ahern said the mobile and VR technology was a breakthrough in helping introduce more people to first aid.

“This is truly ground-breaking technology that will allow more West Australians to develop or practice the skills needed to save a life,” Mr Ahern said.

“It’s another example of our commitment to innovation as we seek to make first aid a part of everyone’s lives and ensure that life goes on.”

“Our education pods are durable and mobile, meaning people can undertake training at their own pace, and at their workplace, school or public event. The technology itself is immersive, fun and equips users with the confidence to effectively respond in an emergency.”

A smartphone and tablet app has also been developed that delivers the same quality training offered by the VR. Mr Ahern said St John was at the forefront of using technology to achieve better outcomes for patients.

“In recent years we’ve introduced innovations like the St John WA First Responder App which continues to prove effective in enabling people to step up and help someone in need and ultimately save more lives,” he said.

The mobile app is available for Android users and it will soon be added to the Apple store and the VR tech will be available to be used by anyone over 13 years of age and will be available from early 2019.

To herald the arrival of First Aid Skills St John is hosting a series of free events and activations at Yagan Square from October 13-20. The week includes first aid demonstrations, food trucks, live performances and children’s entertainment.

The city will also be transformed into a sea of red on Tuesday, October 16 as Yagan Square, the Bell Tower, Elizabeth Quay, Trafalgar Bridge, Matagarup Bridge and Optus Stadium light up red in support of national Restart a Heart Day.

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