What’s the difference between standard and emergency first aid courses?

by Dennis Kim

What does it mean to be certified in first aid?

When you become first aid certified, this means you’ll understand how to assess specific scenarios and how to react accordingly so you can help those around you. First aid courses give non-medical professional individuals the knowledge necessary to assist those with these types of symptoms:

• Asthma emergencies

• Choking

• Burns and poisoning

• Heart attack

• External bleeding from cuts, scrapes and wounds

• Diabetic emergencies

• Allergic reactions (Anaphylaxis)

• Seizures and much more

Standard first aid course

The Standard First Aid course exists to teach people how to help others in an emergency situation. Standard First Aid (SFA) courses go more in-depth into injury assistance and the skills you need to know. In general, the Standard First aid class is held over the course of a 2 day period, which gives you the chance to learn the techniques with confidence. In this type of course you will learn:

• The Red Cross

• Check, Call, CAre

• First aid injury

• The EMS system

• Bone, muscle and joint injuries

• Poison treatment

• Head and spine injuries

• Airway emergencies

• Breathing and circulation emergencies

• Environmental emergencies

• Sudden medical emergencies

• Wound care

• First aid for respiratory and cardiac arrest

With Pacific First Aid, we offer both in-person and standard first aid online. The online version allows you to complete first aid theory topics at your own pace which is a great option for students with busy schedules.

Emergency first aid course

The Emergency First Aid course is a faster and more comprehensive version of the Standard First Aid course. The class itself only takes one day (a full 8 hours). It’s hands-on and covers all the important emergency skills required so you can react to emergency situations. You will leave this course with a basic understanding of first aid and basic skills including:


• The Red Cross

• Preparing to respond

• Check, Call, Care,

• Airway emergencies

• Wound care


• Choking

The biggest difference between the courses is that Standard First Aid is longer in time and goes more in-depth while Emergency First Aid does not. After students complete either of these courses, they will receive a certificate that’s valid for 3 years and both are accepted by WorkSafe BC.

Closing thoughts

All Emergency First Aid and Standard First Aid courses are either supplied by The Red Cross or the APEX First Aid training programs. Both of these courses teach students how to operate an AED and teach valuable CPR skills.

Sign up for our CPR and first aid online course and get certified today.