SINGAPORE - Singaporeans can acquire Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) skills and learn how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), through a newly-launched five-hour training course.
The certifiable Citizen First-Responder Training Programme will also teach participants how to use a first-aid box and to deal with eight common conditions, including stroke, fainting, heat exhaustion, burns and fractures.
The programme, designed by the National Resuscitation Council and the National First Aid Council, was launched by Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean on Sunday.
Mr Teo said that about 1,400 cases of cardiac arrest happen outside of hospital settings in Singapore every year.
Five years ago, the survival rate was 2.5 per cent, but this has improved to 11 per cent, Mr Teo said. This is because the rate at which bystanders have helped by performing CPR has doubled from 22 per cent five years ago to 42 per cent, he added.
"We want to be a country with citizen first-responders in or near every home, every workplace, and every public place," said Mr Teo.
The goal of the National First Aid Council is to have at least one trained and certified first aider in every home by 2020.
The Singapore Red Cross Academy will be the first to offer the Citizen First Responder course, with plans to extend this to all 84 accredited CPR-AED training centres.
National Resuscitation Council chairman, Professor V. Anantharaman, said the course will "provide our community with the ability to perform the required actions for the most common time-critical medical emergencies".
On Sunday, some 400 residents from the Pasir-Punggol GRC will undergo the training and become the first batch of citizens to be certified.
The certifications are valid for a period of two years, and can be renewed by attending a refresher course.