Esperance students take part in remote first aid training

Safety first: Esperance Senior High School Year 12 student Taya Scholz, vocational education and training coordinator Cynnamon Harper, Year 12 student Luke Oxley, principal Ken Duffy, IGO company secretary and head of corporate affairs Joanne McDonald, IGO health and safety manager Ross Jennings, St John's first aid trainers Leeanne Johnson and Nola George. Photo: Sarah Makse.
Safety first: Esperance Senior High School Year 12 student Taya Scholz, vocational education and training coordinator Cynnamon Harper, Year 12 student Luke Oxley, principal Ken Duffy, IGO company secretary and head of corporate affairs Joanne McDonald, IGO health and safety manager Ross Jennings, St John's first aid trainers Leeanne Johnson and Nola George. Photo: Sarah Makse.

More than 150 Esperance high school students have received life-saving first aid training thanks to funding from mining company, Independence Group NL.

St John's first aid trainers from the Esperance Sub Centre visited schools throughout the year to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to take action in an emergency.

The program assisted Esperance Senior High School, Esperance Anglican Community School and Wongutha Christian Aboriginal School Year 11 and 12 students to earn their St John's Ambulance certificate in how to provide first aid in remote situations.

St John's first aid trainer Leeanne Johnson said students were eager to take part and learn what to do in an emergency if an ambulance was more than 30 minutes away.

"It is about making them think outside the box with first aid and teach them that it may be a while for an ambulance to arrive," she said.

"It is not until they get into an emergency situation when they realise the value of what they've learnt.

"I hope that they walk away with knowledge and they are confident enough to put what they have learnt into play."

Independence Group company secretary and head of corporate affairs Joanne McDonald said supporting local students was a 'no-brainer' and something that benefit the entire community.

"The nationally accredited course sets students up with valuable life skills as young adults when getting their driver's license, gaining future employment and entering into further study where a first aid certificate is required," she said.

Esperance Senior High School Year 12 student Taya Scholz said the training was not only enjoyable but helped her to improve her confidence to act in an emergency.

"The training is beneficial because I live on a farm that is 100km away from anywhere and so if I am the only one there I can definitely help until someone else arrives," she said.

Vocational education and training coordinator Cynnamon Harper said first aid training ensured students were a step ahead when entering the workforce.

"We thought it was such a valuable skill for all the students going out on workplace learning, we often get stories from workplaces that say there is no one with first aid training and the fact that we can send out these kids who have experience is really great," she said.