Are your First Aid skills a little rusty?

Before you can take a driving test in Germany, you have to attend a course called “Unterweisung in lebensrettenden Sofortmaßnahmen” which takes about a day and is intended to ensure that all new drivers have basic first aid skills.  There is also a full-blown first aid course available which lasts two days, but is only compulsory for certain types of vehicle.

So when the automobile club ADAC recently commissioned a survey on first aid skills as part of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Red Cross, there were some shocking results.  Whilst 73% of those asked felt they were able to offer first aid, 68% did not know the steps they should take if they were first on the scene at an accident.  9% did not even know the emergency number (in Germany “112”).

In practical tests, just over half of those surveyed were unable to put someone in the recovery position and 80% were unable to carry out cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).  In fact, probably the most positive statistic as far as Germany is concerned is that thanks to the compulsory training when learning to drive, they did better on all the questions and practical tests and the European average.

One of the possible reasons for this is that for a lot of people the last time they took any form of First Aid course is quite some time ago.  Whilst the Red Cross recommend doing a refresher course every 5 years, for just over a third of those asked the last course was over 10 years ago.

The Red Cross decided to take action and last Saturday (23rd March, 2013) they went into a number of pedestrian precincts to make people aware of the need to freshen up their first aid skills.

First Aid practise in the pedestrian precinct

First Aid practise in the pedestrian precinct

At the corner of the Vorstadt and Kumeliusstraße, passers by were able to test their knowledge, including practical skills, and also had the chance to win a place on a first aid course.  They were also able to find out more about when and where first aid courses are held in the town and the other options available such as courses for companies and the children’s section of the Red Cross, the JRK (“Jugendrotkreuz”).

To find out the date of the next first aid course in Oberursel, visit and click on “Kurstermine für Erste Hilfe”.


About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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