Austrians doubt first aid skills

A devastatingly low number of Austrians are familiar with first aid, according to a new poll.

Spectra said today (Fri) that only eight per cent of people living in the country feel “very well prepared” in cases of an emergency. Around 16 per cent of Austrians have never sat a course about how to administer first aid despite such lectures being offered free of charge by the Red Cross and other institutions. Lectures on first aid are also held at schools, given to young men during their six-month mandatory military service and at driving schools.

A vast majority of 95 per cent of the 1,000 Austrians that Spectra spoke with said that more than a year has passed since they most recently attended a first aid course. Spectra also found that fewer than one in three Austrians (32 per cent) are familiar with the European emergency number 112. However, the majority know how to reach the fire brigade (122), the police (133) and the nearest hospital to send for an ambulance (144) in the case of an emergency.

News that fewer than one out of 10 Austrians consider themselves prepared to administer first aid comes on the heels of a report by Ă–AMTC that almost nine in 10 drivers do not stop to check the condition of a victim in an accident. The car club staged what appeared to be a car crash on a main road in the province of Burgenland in August. Only 38 of the 246 motorists who passed pulled over to find out whether they could help. A psychologist and traffic expert said drivers were often scared of doing something wrong in such situations.