The Red Cross First Aid launched its first ever First Aid Courses organized fully online in the Autumn of 2020. These courses consist of independent studies through a learning platform and then reinforcing this knowledge through a webinar including group tasks and home practice. The online first aid course -innovation supports the UN Global Goals of Good Health and Well-Being, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Responsible Consumption and Production and Climate Action.
Hanken School of Economics
The first aid online courses are certified and audited educations that are suitable for first aid preparedness in the workplace, at home, during hobbies, and leisure activities. The courses can be performed face-to-face, fully online, or a hybrid of both. During the online first aid courses there are scenarios where the attendee completes different first aid tasks such as resuscitation with a pillow or reacting to a imaginary bleeding cut and finding something in the attendee's surroundings to help and stop the bleeding.
The inspiration for creating this innovation was due to the digitalization that was happening in the field of education. Minna and Pilvi had to “figure out how to teach and learn those lifesaving skills everywhere and to everybody easily and in a flexible way.” It was natural for the first aid courses to become digitalized and move away from the old-fashioned way of thinking of teaching only through classrooms. Another inspiration behind the innovation was the aspect of accessibility. Minna stated that “we wanted to give a chance to all the people” whether they lived in rural areas or have disabilities that restricted them from joining courses. Minna and Pilvi both believe that “whatever the style is to learn first aid it’s always good and its always better than nothing".
One major impact has been in terms of flexibility. Traveling has decreased as the courses are held online and nor the instructors or the attendees need to travel to separate locations for in-person lessons with the equipment. Another impact according to Pilvi has been the benefit of distant attendance. The switch to online has certainly benefitted the service provider as well as the buyer, since the customers are able to attend the course from the comfort of their homes.
One of the benefits being the increased efficiency of time used. As time passes, the cost benefits will start to accumulate as the same material can be reused and the company receives new revenue without new content or work. Both Pilvi and Minna estimate that the availability of the courses digitally may increase the scale of potential total attendees, as people who are not able to attend the face-to-face courses may now take them online. The nature of the business is commercial and the Red Cross First Aid can cover all their costs via the course attendant fees. The revenue covers the operational and organizational costs of running the business and any additional revenue is distributed to the Finnish Red Cross’ homeland operations.
Pilvi states: “Finland is a huge and vast country, and we have people living in rural areas, who have difficulties finding the time and place for the First Aid training, and we of course have people who have disabilities, who have problems joining the courses, like people in wheelchairs. Accessibility was the reason we wanted to put it online.”. People with learning difficulties also may benefit from the online version, as the instructor speaks with a clear and calm manner, and the attendee can rewind or pause the lectures to their own liking and follow along on their own phase. As a byproduct of the shift to increased digitalization in the services, the need and use of disposable materials, e.g., papers and leaflets, also decreases in face-to-face learning.
Pilvi Kyrönlahti, Instructional Designer
Minna Sihvo, Training Manager
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Helsinki, All of Finland, FI
Business Website: https://www.ensiaputodistus.fi/tapahtumat
Year Founded: 2017
Number of Employees: 11 to 50
The Red Cross First Aid is an organization fully owned by the Finnish Red Cross. They offer educational services in the first aid and safety field, which are certified and audited first aid courses in accordance with the Educational Programs of the Red Cross First Aid. These courses fill the criteria for first aid preparedness of workplaces defined in the law of occupational safety and health and the rescue act.