First aid saves lives

  • Bangladesh, Dhaka, 2013
    Bangladesh, Dhaka, 2013
    Volunteers from the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society provide first aid to people injured during politically motivated violence in Dhaka in 2013.
    © Bangladesh Red Crescent / WAHID, Adnan
  • Jordan, Mafraq. September 2014
    Jordan, Mafraq. September 2014
    A member of our staff demonstrates first aid techniques at a workshop for Syrian refugees at Za'atari camp.
    © ICRC / Ahmed Mohamed Abdel Fattah
  • Colombia, 2011
    Colombia, 2011
    Demonstrating first aid techniques at a workshop in an indigenous community in Tierralta, Córdoba.
    © ICRC
  • Colombia, Northern Cauca, Tacueyo
    Colombia, Northern Cauca, Tacueyo
    Volunteers from the Colombian Red Cross and an ICRC employee during a first aid training session for indigenous guards. The aim of the session is to give them the know-how to stabilize people wounded during fighting while waiting to be evacuated by road or by air.
    © ICRC / Didier Revol
  • Democratic Republic of Congo, 2013
    Democratic Republic of Congo, 2013
    The DRC Red Cross Society gives first aid training for an armed group in North Kivu province, Rutshuru territory. At the end of the 2-day session, each participant received a backpack with a first aid kit.
    © ICRC / Elodie Schindler
  • Guinea, Conakry, 2013
    Guinea, Conakry, 2013
    Volunteers from the Red Cross Society of Guinea take part in a simulation exercise involving first aid, transporting patients and evacuating the injured during emergencies.
    © ICRC / Alyona Synenko
  • Ukraine, Kiev, 2014
    Ukraine, Kiev, 2014
    Since the onset of the crisis in Ukraine during 2013, emergency response teams from the Ukrainian Red Cross Society have been providing first aid for the wounded on both sides. Pictured are members of one of these teams in Independence Square, Kiev.
    © Unframe / Mstyslav Chernov
  • Ukraine, Kiev
    Ukraine, Kiev
    Ukrainian Red Cross emergency response team members tend to an activist who has just received a bullet wound.
    © URCS / V. Sherbanyuk
  • Syria, Governorate of Aleppo, Al Halk
    Syria, Governorate of Aleppo, Al Halk
    Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers retrieve dead bodies from the streets of Aleppo in April 2013.
    © Syrian Red Crescent / I. Tayyar.
  • Nigeria, Plateau State, Jos, 2013
    Nigeria, Plateau State, Jos, 2013
    The ICRC helps train staff of selected hospitals in the north of Nigeria on how to effectively manage a sudden influx of casualties, incorporating training on triage, first aid and surgery. Pictured, a collaboratively organized training exercise with Plateau State Hospital in which the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), police, military and civil defence all participated.
    © ICRC / Ibrahim Dung
  • Mexico, 2014
    Mexico, 2014
    Teachers and senior staff of a school in Acapulco receive first aid training as part of "Opening Humanitarian Spaces", a programme run jointly by the ICRC, Mexican Red Cross, and the education authorities in the states of Chihuahua and Guerrero.
    © ICRC / Luis Enrique Nava Olascuaga
  • Pakistan, 2014
    Pakistan, 2014
    Pakistan Red Crescent Society volunteers transport an injured person to hospital during protests in Islamabad in September 2014.
    © PRCS
12 September 2014

Providing First Aid is not simply a matter of stopping bleeding, bandaging a wound or taking an injured person to hospital. It also involves taking someone's hand, reassuring the frightened, giving a bit of one's self. In armed conflicts and other situations of violence, first responders and First Aiders face many dangers, including stray bullets, shrapnel and collapsing buildings, but also threats and overstress. They bravely help the wounded when the most natural reflex would be to flee.

On the occasion of World First Aid Day in 2014, 13 September, we show a few examples of First Aid activities carried out by Red Cross Red Crescent staff and volunteers around the world.


Emergencies can strike anytime, anywhere and affect anyone. In emergencies, 90% of lives are saved by people like you. You can be a hero by learning and providing first aid when the time comes and ensuring first aid training is accessible to all. Together, we can prepare heroes around the world. Be a hero. Save lives! Learn more on first aid by watching a short animated movie on our partner website, The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

See also:

Syria: SARC first responders need to be respected

Subscribe to the ICRC newsletter