St John Ambulance Victoria launches its first 100% virtual first aid course.

St John Ambulance Victoria today launched its first 100% Virtual First Aid course to equip all Victorians with critical life saving skills, all of which can be done safely from the comfort of their own homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Victorians spending more time at home than ever before and 75% of out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occurring at private residences, it has never been more important to sign up and learn or refresh these lifesaving skills.

Sudden cardiac arrest patients who receive CPR from a friend, family member or bystander have a higher survival rate (14%) compared with those with no bystander CPR (4%) highlighting the importance of the skill in helping save a life.

St John Ambulance Victoria’s new course is fully accredited and 100 percent online. The full First Aid Course including CPR takes just four hours to complete from start to finish and is hosted by experienced first aid trainers in every live video-conference class. Additionally, Victorians can also take part in a shorter one and half hour class specifically focused on CPR.

Participants will receive a brand new, COVID-safe training kit including a trainer EpiPen, bandages, placebo inhaler and mannikin, which can be kept for ongoing practice. Upon completion participants will receive their First Aid Certificate within 24 hours.

St John Ambulance Victoria CEO Gordon Botwright is urging all Victorians to learn or refresh their previous knowledge when it comes to critical First Aid skills as the state continues to stay at home during Stage Four and Stage Three restrictions.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, St John Ambulance Victoria has continued to reinvent and innovate our model to make vital First Aid Training accessible to everyone this has led to the digitisation of our courses.

“We have designed this course to be simple and user-friendly, whether you’re in Melbourne or Mallacoota, Bendigo or Balnarring and all you need is a personal computer or tablet (with webcam and microphone), a secondary device like a smartphone and a reliable home internet connection.

“Many people all over the world are eager to come out of this pandemic learning a new skill and what better skill is there than learning how to save a life?”

One families story

Mount Eliza resident Manuela Ferstl is living proof of the benefits of St John Ambulance Victoria’s First Aid training after her son Angus performed CPR on her in the middle of the Nepean Highway creating a traffic jam, almost one year ago on 30 September 2019.

Manuela recalls: “I had suddenly fainted during the day in the middle of work. So, my son insisted on driving me to the doctor that afternoon. On the way there I felt dizzy; I then fainted and started to turn blue. Angus stopped the car, pulled me onto the road and performed CPR. Thankfully, he had just completed his first aid training just two weeks prior! I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for him, he saved my life.

“If I can say one thing to everyone about learning CPR, it is to not be afraid. Just do the course, that simple. A small bit of knowledge can change someone’s life entirely and you never know when you’ll need it.“

At the heart of St John Ambulance Victoria’s training programs is its mission to educate and empower the community with First Aid knowledge and the skills to save a life. Through adapting the Virtual First Aid Course to be delivered completely online, St John Ambulance can continue to equip the community with vital skills in First Aid and what to do in an event of an emergency.

To book St John Ambulance’s Virtual First Aid course, please visit or call 1300 360 455.

Want more from Mama? Get the latest MamaMag fun straight to your inbox.

Follow MamaMag on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.