Best Ways to Get First Aid Training

first aid training with AED

Don’t think you can help in an emergency? Not true! Everyone can perform first aid when properly trained. The absolute best thing you can do to become first aid proficient is to take in-person first aid classes.

Being part of a classroom setting gives you hands-on experience, which will give you confidence in handling the scenarios you’ve trained for. It also allows you to interact with an instructor and ask questions.

If you can’t make it to an in-person class, the next best thing would be a video series. This provides a structured format to deliver the information which builds on what you’ve learned previously. Watching someone do something is the next best thing to doing it yourself (as opposed to static images). Did something not make sense? You can always go back and re-watch sections to ensure you understand the material, and some courses may allow you to contact the instructor to ask questions.

In-person Options

  • Red Cross

The Red Cross is probably the first organization to come to mind when thinking about first aid. They have a full range of classes, including CPR, lifeguard, babysitter, and more advanced certifications like BLS and ALS. You can visit their website to search for classes in your area or choose to take them online.
Red Cross courses in the United States
Red Cross courses in the UK
Red Cross courses in Canada
Red Cross courses in Australia
Red Cross in the Philippines

The American Heart Association (AHA) is another organization that provides training and certifications to professionals and civilians.

  • St. John Ambulance

St. John Ambulance is an international organization that started in England in the 1870s and is dedicated to providing first aid services and training.
St. John Ambulance in the UK
St. John Ambulance in Canada
St. John Ambulance in Australia
St. John Ambulance in India
St. John Ambulance South Africa

NOLS is an American organization that leads expeditions, training sessions, and first aid courses centered around the outdoors. They partner with REI for their wilderness first aid classes. You can sign up on their website or through REI.

  • Local for-profit training centers

Training centers across the country (many of whom are Red Cross or AHA certified) provide classes and certifications for professionals and civilians. You can join a class by yourself or set up training for your workplace or organization.

  • Local fire departments, parks & recreation centers, community centers, and hospitals

You may have to ask around or search the events pages of these organizations, but they are often the least expensive and often help the local community.

  • Local community colleges

Online Courses

There are a few reputable online companies that provide classes of many types, ranging from basket weaving to how to install a new sink in your home. These websites also have general first aid classes, pet first aid, wilderness first aid, and more.

  • – Udemny boasts more than 196,000 courses in more than 75 languages and is probably the best know online course provider.


Great as a supplement to what you’ve already learned or as a way to expand your knowledge, books are always a good option. See my round-up of my favorite books and references for some ideas.

Have you gotten first aid training that you’d recommend from someplace not listed here? Do you want to list your organization on this website? Let me know here.