First Aid Education European Network Meeting Hosted by Irish Red Cross
11th – 13th October 2012, Malahide, Co. Dublin


The Red Cross & Red Crescent First Aid Education European Network (FAEEN) meets annually to share experiences and discuss challenges in providing first aid education. The aim is to enable access for as many people as possible in Europe to first aid education. FAEEN represents  a link between operational reality  and governance and supports the smooth dissemination of first aid information for each Red Cross & Red Crescent national society.

This year Irish Red Cross hosted the meeting with representatives from thirty seven countries including: Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Kyrgyzstan,Luxemburg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Sri Lanka,Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, United States of America and Uzbekistan. Seventy three delegates in total attended. Representatives from the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) and the European Reference Centre for First Aid Education also attended.


The theme of the meeting was New Technologies in First Aid Education. Mr Donal Forde, Secretary General of Irish Red Cross in opening the meeting welcomed the delegates from across the world inviting them “to share with each other their experiences of using new technologies for the enhancement of first aid education across Europe and further afield”. Dr Geoff King, Director PHECC in addressing the group spoke of the value of collaborative practice and his “belief that the best health outcomes are achieved when well prepared health professionals work in collaboration and partnership in both the practice and educational setting”.


The meeting discussed the value of creating a universal APP which could be easily accessed by each Red Cross & Red Crescent national society at a reasonable cost and invited national societies to sign up for the pilot study.

Research Findings

Bernie Stevenson, National Training Support Manager, Irish Red Cross presented the findings of the research conducted with NUI Maynooth on the transfer of first aid knowledge and skills. The research shows that 95% of Irish people are not confident to take action in an emergency and that 62% are afraid that they will do something incorrect if they step forward to help in an emergency situation.

The research recommends the inclusion of a module on the transfer of learning and the bystander effect in all Irish Red Cross first aid courses to address this reluctance.

IFRC 2020

The challenge of the growing number of older people with increased health care expenditures, facing social exclusion with not enough people to offer care and support to them is highlighted in the IFRC 2020 strategy and is recognised as an issue for Europe in the coming years. FAEEN is designing a first aid training programme for older people which will be rolled out by national societies.


This year as part of FAEEN the Irish Red Cross, Irish Prison Service and the FAEEN Steering Group organised for the delegates to visit Wheatfield Prison to see the Community Based Health & First Aid project in action.


Prisons (Continued..)

Governors and in mates from six prisons involved in the project were in attendance. The in mates who operate as Irish Red Cross volunteers within the prisons, demonstrated their first aid skills and explained the impact their involvement in the project is having on their lives.

Projects/ Exhibitors

Representatives from the 37 Red Cross & Red Crescent national societies in attendance presented information on the most innovative and current project to the meeting.

These projects included the following:
  • FirstAid for VulnerableGroup
  • Iphone and Android applications
  • Promotion of safe behaviour
  • Drive and Helpwith FirstAid
  • Multiplier Approach – enabling other partners to provide first aid training
  • First Aid for Traffic policemen
  • Developing a National Contact Centre
  • Prevention o fDomestic Accidents
  • School Health Programme
  • First Aid Training for Blind People
  • Master Instructor Training
  • Introducing first aid training to marginalised groups
Over the three days, thirteen exhibitors, including PHECC provided the delegates with information on e learning, Apps, manikins for instruction, first aid kits, alarm systems, automated external defibrillation, AED training devices, therapy equipment, CPR feedback and ER team management software tools.


Each year the network prepares a set of recommendations encouraging each Red Cross and Red Crescent national society to promote the role of first aid in the community. The recommendations of the 2012 meeting strongly encourage national societies to:
  • Re-affirm their role as auxiliary of their government
  • Promote social mobilisation and advocacy
  • Be well prepared in case of health emergency
  • Educate the citizen in first aid and disaster preparedness to be the first link in case of emergency,
  • Build resilience within society,
  • Embrace new technologies as a learning tool

Closing Statement

Anthony Lawlor, Irish Red Cross National Director of Units closed the meeting. He acknowledged the work of FAEEN which, together with the First Aid Reference Centre in Paris is the strongest network within the Red Cross & Red Crescent movement in Europe. He thanked PHECC for their participation and supporting the meeting and noted that Ireland was the only country in the European network where a single regulatory body was responsible for training and prehospital regulation for the Statutory, private and voluntary sector. He noted also the growing interest in promoting first aid via new technology and social media and thanked the Irish Red Cross staff and volunteers who had arranged to host this event for the first time in Ireland.