The “European Committee for First Aid Education” (EC First Aid) is a permanent working group within SAMARITAN INTERNATIONAL. Physicians and training experts representing the SAM.I. member organisations have been participating in its work ever since its creation in 2002.
The committee provides a forum for the continuous exchange of information. Particular emphasis is placed upon the discussion of shared aspects and differences with the goal of establishing standards for first-aid training that will improve the prospects of survival for emergency patients suffering from life-threatening illnesses or injuries.
At its first meeting in March 2003, the expert committee approved a set of “Standard Principles of First-Aid Training” and a “European First-Aid Certificate”. The objective of these measures is to facilitate recognition of first-aid training qualifications in the participating countries and to promote the cause of quality assurance in training at the European level.
Emergencies in households, at work, during leisure time, at schools and in road traffic demand comparable emergency aid capabilities. Recommendations regarding first aid may also be similar, depending on the state knowledge in the field of emergency medicine. Consequently, the establishment of European standards would facilitate the process of recognizing comparable training qualifications wherever formal proof of completion of first-aid training is required.
Comparable training would also enable those concerned to rely on equal quality of first aid in emergencies throughout Europe. Thus the initial results of the committee’s work are the Standard Principles and the European First-Aid Certificate. These documents are being revised by the committee at their meetings to keep them up to par with the state of the art of first aid. The latest iteration of the revision process will put an additional focus on administering first aid to people with disabilities.
Further work will be devoted to the goal of providing first-aid training to as many people as possible in Europe and to work out standards which are recognised on the European level.