How long does first aid training last?

first aid at work
first aid at work

How long does first aid training last?

The first-aid certificate lasts for 3 years since your first aid certificate has been issued. You need to renew it every 3 years, note no refresher course qualifies you as a first aider for 1-day emergency first aid at work or paediatric first aid. There is a bit of difference with the 3 days first aid at work. 

If you completed 3 days first aid at work training and want to renew your certificate you are eligible for 2-day re-qualification first aid training. You should know that according to the HSE rules you should renew your certificate within 28 days after expiration. 

Different types of first aid training

There are different types and levels of first aid courses and so the content is different. 


If you work in a low-risk environment like an office, dental practice, or the gym you will be required to hold 1-day emergency first aid at work certificate. The training covers the most common topics such as cpr training, bleeding, chocking, burns, anaphylaxis and others. The training usually lasts 6 hours. 


The law requires to hold 3-day first aid at work certificate for those who work in high-risk environments such as construction, manufacture, railway etc.  The content of the course is different and includes more in-depth knowledge like spinal injuries, head injuries, heavy bleeding, chest injuries. The training lasts 18 hours. You can do this training in 3 consecutive days or attend blended first aid at work training. The blended options consist of 18 hours, you will be completing 12 hours of self-directed training – reading, watching videos, doing quizzes. However, you still need to attend 1 day face to face training to complete your practical training. 


Those who are working with kids are required to complete paediatric first aid course which meets OFSTED requirements. Usually, this course is chosen by those who work as a nanny, au-pair, child careers, education staff. The pediatric first aid training includes such topics as unconscious baby or child, choking, bleeding, burns, foreign bodies in eyes and ears, and many others.

What do you learn in first aid training?

A first aider’s role is to provide initial or immediate support to a casualty in need. Through the knowledge and first aid training you have received, you need to decide if the care you are giving is appropriate and sufficient. Alternatively, perhaps the casualty needs professional medical assistance. In all scenarios, your role is to provide support, whilst keeping yourself, the casualty and other bystanders safe. 

As a first aider you would be responsible for: 

  • Manage the incident and ensure the continuing safety of themselves, the casualty, and the public

  • Discover the nature & cause of their injuries or illnesses

  • Arrange for further medical help or other emergency services to attend. 

  • Prioritize casualty treatment based upon medical need

  • Provide appropriate first aid treatment that you have been trained to do, and that is reasonable in the circumstances

  • If able to, record observations of casualties vital signs, symptoms and feedback

  • Relay this information when further medical help arrives

  • Complete an accident report form following the incident

The first aid evolves around 3 P, which stands for Preserve Life, Prevent the condition from worsening, Promote recovery. Let’s break down what each P means. 

Preserve life – First of all calmly and quickly assess the situation, protect yourself and everyone at the scene from danger, prioritise, treating the most serious conditions first.

Prevent the condition from worsening – Call for appropriate medical help, if necessary, identify the type of injury or illness, minimise the risk of cross infection

Promote recovery – Treat any injuries or illnesses, arrange the next steps such as transfer to hospital, communicate details of the injury or illness and your actions to those taking over care of the casualty


As you can see, there are a few different training courses. You should ask at your workplace which type, of course, you should attend.



It’s not just about selling courses. We aim to save lives.

cpr training

It’s so nice to hear that the work we do everyday, makes a difference. Saves lives.

We thought it was worth sharing.

Sebastian Zarenbski, a former student with Siren Training and his colleague Joachim jumped into action when he noticed a colleague collapse in work on Tuesday morning. Sebastian and Joachim work @JamesEngineer1 construction company. Read  our trainer @AshWebberLive letter:

Here’s a quick report from SEBASTIAN ZARENBSKI, one of my learners who on Tuesday of this week, saved someone’s life. He contacted Lawrie on the phone on Thursday and asked me to get in touch.

He attended one of Siren’s open courses at London Bridge. He said it was Jan ’18.

On Tuesday 24th September, he had arrived at his place of work. As he was walking up the staircase, he noticed a guy in front of him looked pretty tired. Suddenly, the man leant forward clutching his chest and then fell back hitting his head on the wall. He was unresponsive. Fortunately, Sebastian immediately conducted a primary survey & ascertained he was not breathing. He was able to brief one of his colleagues what to say to the emergency operator.

Sebastian began CPR. Fortunately, the defib was only on the next floor – so he arranged for it to be brought to him. CPR continued until it arrived. There was no response after one shock on the defibrillator. CPR continued until the next cycle. After the next shock, he began to cough, and Sebastian was happy with his breathing & rolled him onto his side.

At the point of being taken away by the ambulance, he was responsive. Current word is that the casualty is receiving further treatment in hospital.

Having spoken to Sebastian on the phone, he told me the casualty’s name is Hayden, approx. 40 years of age and to top it off, it was his first day with the firm. His new colleagues saved his life! Presently, Sebastian is happy to stay in touch and connect via FB etc. He’s happy for you to share the story.

Let’s just hope Hayden make a full recovery.

See you soon




All you need to know about first aid courses

children first aid

Here is an expert advice choosing the first aid course or if you just want to know something more about life saving skills. Mat Walters is the founder of Siren Training here is his thoughts about first aid courses. 

first aid training courses london

What are first aid courses like?


A first aid course is not only very interesting and relevant to everyone, it’s also very enjoyable. Although the subject is a serious one, the course itself can be a great team-bonding day. It’s certainly not a ‘death by powerpoint’ kind of day.

People get to work together on common practical first aid scenarios that will empower individuals to step in to help in real-life, if needed.


Are first aid courses hard?


As long as learners participate and get fully involved in the course, there is no reason why anyone would find it too hard. Yes, people have different abilities and strengths, but a good first aid instructor can use many different methods of assessing competency.

Verbal questioning, written questioning, group work, manuals, videos and practical elements mean that most people get the opportunity to gain the skills required. Some people do fail the course but most companies offer a free re-sit course.


Who must have first aid certification?


A first aid course is an invaluable life-skill that everyone would benefit from. Most people sit on a first aid course as part of a workplace requirement, but most of us spend time with family and friends each day. Learning life-saving skills and gaining important knowledge of first aid is open to everyone.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) highly recommends that every workplace has provisions in place to be able to deal with an emergency.


Most common workplaces that require first aid trained staff:


  • Sports Industry
  • Hotels and Hospitality
  • Office Environments
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • School Teachers
  • Nannies / Childcarers

paediatric first aid

What age is the best to start your first aid courses?


Technically, you cannot gain a first aid qualification until you’re 16. However, there is no reason why young adults and children can’t sit on shorter, introductory courses and gain a basic understanding of first aid.

Many schools run bespoke courses from year 7 and upwards. Not only do they gain the knowledge, but it also encourages youngsters to enrol on a full first aid course in the future.


You haven’t taken a first aid course, your friend is not breathing, you’ve called 999 but responders are 10 minutes away. What should you do?What are some useful things to know for first-aid situations that you’re not taught at a first-aid course?


If you’ve never sat on a first aid course and you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to realise that doing something is better than nothing.

If a casualty has stopped breathing, the cells of their body start to die after only 3 mins. Therefore, waiting around doing nothing isn’t going to help. After checking that it’s safe to do so, the first thing to do (after calling 999) is to shout for help. If you’re in a populated area, the chances are someone in the vicinity will know how to do basic CPR.

Stay on the phone to the operator- they are trained to guide and help in this situation. Place your phone on loud speaker to free up your hands.

Whilst shouting and waiting for help, start doing compression only CPR. Place both hands on the centre of the chest and compress 5-6 cm. Get into a rhythm and aim for 2 per second. Try to keep doing this and shouting for help until the Ambulance arrives.

It could make a huge difference.


Should I take a CPR and first aid certification course online or in person?


First aid is a hands-0n, practical subject, therefore it’s much more beneficial to attend in person for at least 1 day. You will gain far more from demonstrations and practical exercises than you would from an online course. However, there is plenty to be gained in terms of knowledge from an online course.

Where can I find good course about first aid?


There are plenty of options for first aid courses when looking through search engines online.


What is reasonable price for a first aid course?


Anything around £100 for a 1 day course and £200 for a 3 day course is reasonable. Group courses for up to 12 people can be the best option for companies’ and organisations. Group prices can range from £400-£600, which works out much cheaper per person.


How do you choose a first aid training provider?

Make sure that a certificate is issued for 3 years on completion of the course and ask who their awarding body is.

I.e First Aid Industry Body (FAIB), Qualsafe or Highfield. This isn’t essential but first aid training companies’ that have awarding bodies will be getting audited and checked for their performance, so you should get a better quality course.

Siren Training is a dedicated training company that was set up by a group of Firefighters in 2013. Our team have a wealth of knowledge and experience in First Aid Training Courses and Fire Safety. We deliver interesting, enjoyable, lifesaving skills to all sectors and industries. You can choose a course which suits to your needs. We provide paediatric first aid coursesemergency first aid at work course, which includes CPR training. 

Try to find a reputable company that uses real-life emergency service staff as their instructors. They will have far more knowledge and experience and deliver a more interesting course.


Two tips before sitting on your next First Aid course

First Aid Course London

Here is a short 5 min video of two top tips where our Senior First Aid Trainer, Ash Webber irons out some of the myths around First Aid training and helps you get in the right mindset before sitting on one of our courses.

He offers his two top tips to ensure your get the most from your next first aid course.


How to stay cool in the heat?

How to stay cool in the heat (2) (1)

How to stay cool in the heat?

by Siren Training | July 14

Well, it’s looking like that barbecue summer has finally arrived after all those years of promise! Along with the barbecues comes the traditional baring of the white legs that haven’t seen daylight in the winter months!

But the dash to turn the white flesh into a rosy pink means often we don’t take the precautions to protect ourselves from the heat of summer. Here are a few things to look out for in the heat of summer and keep safe.

If you want to become more equipped with the skills and knowledge how to help someone on hot summer days, you can attend one of our first aid courses.

How to stay cool in the heat?

How to prevent heat exhaustion?

A lot of people get heat stroke and heat exhaustion mixed up. Here’s the difference. When the body core temperature goes up by a couple of degrees, we start to sweat, that’s the way the body attempts to cool us down. So, the very first thing is to take on water to support the loss.

This first stage is what is known as heat exhaustion. It’s when you get very sweaty, but you also feel shivery, often getting stomach cramps and feeling sick.

The first step is to bring the core temperature down, lots of water sipped to rehydrate but also soak towels and drape them over the head of the person to cool them down. Don’t go for fizzy drinks or alcohol. The composition of these drinks, actually makes it is harder for the body to intake the valuable water, so keep it simple, and opt for tap water or a mixture of 50% water and 50% pure fruit juice.


A person can help prevent heat exhaustion by staying hydrated and cool.

Other ways to prevent heat exhaustion include:

  • drinking fluids during and after exercise
  • avoiding exercising in direct sunlight in warmer months
  • avoiding prolonged exposure to hot, humid weather
  • wearing loose-fitting clothing when exercising or when in warm weather
  • keeping electrolyte beverages or oral-rehydration salt preparations on hand
  • avoiding sugary drinks and sodas
  • not increasing workload or pace too quickly
  • exercising in a well-ventilated area or while using a fan
  • seeking air-conditioned, indoor areas when outdoor temperatures are over 90°F
  • applying sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapplying often
  • in the summer, scheduling strenuous activities during the early morning or evening
  • increasing fluid intake when using medications known to increase the risk of heat exhaustion
  • keeping hydrated when working in hot, humid environments, such as factories, laundry facilities, and kitchens
  • wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing when exercising or working in warm weather

The symptoms of heat exhaustion are meant to warn the body that it is becoming overheated.

Heat cramps, the mildest type of heat-related syndromes, usually occur before heat exhaustion. Treating heat cramps as soon as they occur may prevent heat exhaustion from developing.

Symptoms of heat cramps include:

  • heavy or excessive sweating
  • muscle pain and cramps
  • thirst
  • fatigue or tiredness

Heat cramps can be treated with fluids and rest. A person should also seek shade or an air-conditioned building as soon as possible.

What are common signs of heat exhaustion?

Heat stroke is the real concern here. A lot of people say they have had this but often it’s mistaken for heat exhaustion. The big difference is that with heat stroke you stop sweating.

Your body recognises that It is losing fluid so stop sweating. The problem is, now there is no way of natural cooling so as the core temperature increases, a severe headache develops and eventually fits, while in severe cases death.

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If someone is overheating but not sweating call 999. As you wait for the emergency services to arrive follow the steps above for heat exhaustion but continually monitor the person breathing and keep the emergency services up to date.

Here are common signs of heat exhaustion:

  • weak, rapid pulse
  • excessive sweating
  • increased internal body temperature
  • muscle weakness or cramps
  • nausea
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • cold, pale, damp skin, sometimes accompanied by goosebumps
  • low blood pressure or light-headedness when standing up or bending over
  • vomiting
  • irritable or aggressive behavior
  • red, flushed face
  • rapid, shallow breathing
How to stay cool in the heat (2) (1)

What causes heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion is most often caused by a combination of physical exertion and warm weather.

Additional factors known to increase the likelihood of heat exhaustion include:

  • high humidity, usually over 60 percent
  • liver or kidney conditions
  • intense, strenuous physical work
  • underlying conditions that increase the chances of dehydration, including diabetes or hyperglycemia
  • injuries where a portion of the body is compressed or pinned down by a heavy object, also known as crush injuries
  • drug abuse
  • heavy or long-term alcohol use
  • smoking or tobacco use
  • being overweight
  • certain medications, especially those that increase the risk of dehydration, including medications for depression, insomnia, allergies, and poor circulation
  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • being under 4 or over 65 years old

If heat exhaustion is suspected, a person should stop doing exercise or physical activity immediately. A person with heat exhaustion should also drink fluids as soon as possible.

Further tips for treating heat exhaustion include:

  • seeking out a cool, shaded area or going indoors
  • loosening clothing
  • lying flat on the back
  • taking a lukewarm or cool shower
  • placing a cool, wet cloth on the face and chest
  • in severe cases, putting ice packs under each armpit and behind the neck
  • drinking 1 liter per hour of drinks that contain electrolytes, such as Gatorade or Gastrolyte
How to rehydrate (1)

How to rehydrate?

Make an at-home oral-rehydration solution by following these steps:

  • boil 5 cups (1 liter) of water
  • remove from the heat source and stir in 6 teaspoons (tsp) of sugar and ½ tsp of table salt
  • cool before drinking
  • add natural flavorings in the form of fruit juices, honey, or maple syrup

Some drinks and foods can also act as oral-rehydrating formulas, including:

  • gruel (cooked cereal and water)
  • rice water or congee
  • green coconut water
  • fresh fruit juices, ideally orange, pear, or peach
  • weak, non-caffeinated tea
  • carrot soup
  • banana puree mixed with water

Recovery time

In most people, symptoms of heat exhaustion will start to improve within 30 minutes. However, if symptoms do not improve after 30–60 minutes, seek medical attention.

A doctor will treat heat exhaustion with one or two liters of intravenous fluids and electrolytes.

If fluids and rest do not resolve symptoms, a doctor will perform a blood work-up and other clinical tests to rule out other potential causes.

If heat exhaustion is treated promptly, the individual will be fully recovered within 24-48 hours.

first aid at work

First aid at work

All you need to know about first aid at work Recourse: HSE Public first aid courses Public Calendar First Aid at Work As a minimum,

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A First Aiders guide to a fall

paediatric first aid course

It’s the moment everyone dreads. That pavement that looked wet turned out to be black ice. And so now it’s a battle against gravity. Your limbs move in different directions, making you look like a poor Bruce Lee tribute and suddenly become aware that your feet are level with your eyes and it’s as if time stands still. There’s that moment when you seem to hang in mid air and then like Wiley Coyote your eyes stay in mid air as the body falls towards the ground. But, of course rather than lie still you bounce up like you hit an invisible trampoline and pretend you meant to do it and everything’s fine. The trouble is the next day you are black and blue! And worse still your kids have posted the video on social media and you are an internet sensation!

That’s the problem with falls, the adrenaline kicks in, fake push ups begin  and combined with embarrassment you don’t perhaps think of the damage you could have done falling or sometimes getting up afterwards.

So, here’s a quick guide to help you to work out how bad a fall is and whether someone needs hospital treatment after a fall. A First Aiders guide to a fall.

  1. First, don’t be too quick to help someone up or get up yourself. That’s sounds cruel but you need a moment to work out if you are hurt. Keep still and just get yourself together. Can you feel you fingers and toes? Do you have tingling in them? This could be a sign of serious back injury.

If you are helping some one after a fall here’s a quick check you can do.

  1. Ask them if they have pain anywhere. As you talk to them check their face for bruising. A serious head injury can often be seen by bruising under the eyes or behind the ears. It doesn’t just mean a blow to the face.
  2. Ask if it hurts when they breathe, before they get up ask them to take a couple of deep breaths. Pain whilst breathing might be a bruise but could be damage to the ribs.
  3. Now be discreet about this one, if someone has wet themselves after a fall this could indicate a potential spinal injury. If they have it is also worth looking to see if one leg is longer than the other. This is a way we can tell if the pelvis is damaged.
  4. If limbs are at unusual and normally impossible angle then we will assume a fracture. You can learn more on how to deal with fractures on any of our First Aid courses in London.

If the answer is yes to any of these checks, according to one of our best London First Aid course instructors, encourage the patient to keep in the position they landed and call 999 for assistance.

After the fall, here’s a little thing to keep an eye on, bruises usually heal and change colour after two weeks. If a bruise after a fall hasn’t started to change colour or shrink after a couple of weeks its usually best to seek professional advice.

Fortunately, most falls are not so serious, it’s a brush down and afternoon of watching CBeebies to put us back together. But hopefully this quick guide can help you to look after yourself and others this winter when the bad weather comes. Oh and one more thing, check the kids phones so you don’t go viral!