Helping others in a medical emergency isn’t as hard to learn as you might think. Knowing how to apply a bandage, identify the signs and symptoms of shock, perform CPR or use an automatic external defibrillator (AED) can save a life.

First responders may not be on the scene for five minutes or more. It is up to individuals like you to be ready to help someone who is injured. The person whose life you save may be someone that you love.

Many American Red Cross chapters now offer training in pet first aid. Training may also be available through your local humane society, kennel club, or pet store. Check with your veterinarian to see what special items you may need to include in a first aid kit for your pets. If you travel with your pet, or if they are service or hunting animals, you may want to make a travel-sized pet first aid kit as well.

Contact your local fire department or American Red Cross chapter to learn what first aid classes are available in your area. Ask your employer if they will sponsor a class for your workplace, or take a class with your family or on your own. Many classes are offered free of charge. Courses may also be offered at your place of worship, school, or community organization. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training also includes first aid training.  

Take training in first aid, CPR, AED, or pet first aid.