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St John Equips 400,000 Children with Lifesaving Skills


Educators in Canterbury will today train the 400,000th ASB St John in Schools participant at Waituna Creek School, Waimate.

St John Director of Community Health Services, Sarah Manley says that the school children receive training in first aid and responding to emergencies, bandaging and CPR, disaster preparedness, and an innovative new Injury Prevention module designed in partnership with ACC.

“St John receives over fifty 111 emergency calls from children every month, often calling in highly distressing situations for a parent or loved one who has fallen, is unconscious, or is having convulsions.

“ASB St John in Schools has been equipping young New Zealanders with the skills and confidence to deal with these emergency situations, and to be advocates for the health and wellbeing of themselves and their communities since 2015,” Ms Manley says.

ASB head of community, sponsorship and events Mark Graham says this year ASB is celebrating 10 years of support for St John and ASB is immensely proud of the 400,000 milestone.

“We believe this educational first aid programme that teaches Kiwi kids life-saving skills is incredibly important for not only the children, but for their families, friends and the wider community. It’s about making sure our young New Zealanders have the confidence to take action in an emergency which will stay with them for life.”

In addition to providing first aid kits, ASB this year launched the ASB Super Saver Bravery Award to recognise brave acts, and St John is thanking ASB and ACC for their support.

“We believe that every child should have access to basic first aid training to help improve equitable health outcomes in all of New Zealand. As we mark this fantastic milestone of 400,000 children trained today, we are repeating our call for ASB St John in Schools training to be rolled out to every school in New Zealand, which aligns with the Labour-led Government’s objectives in its “School Leaver’s Toolkit” policy.

“This is about delivering equitable health services, improving health outcomes, and building the preparedness and resilience of all New Zealand communities,” Ms Manley says.

Any school interested in rolling out the ASB St John in Schools programme can find out more and contact St John online at


Notes to Editors

ASB St John in Schools was relaunched in 2014 and has a combination of full-time and part-time educators based across the country. We appreciate the support of ASB and ACC who provide national sponsorship for the programme. There is no official cost for our programme but donations are greatly appreciated to further support the delivery costs of this programme.

Earlier this year, St John launched the 111 ambulance song that teaches children how to phone 111 in an emergency, available on spotify, googleplay and itunes.

Out of our 400,000 students taught nationally 81,000 were taught in Early Childhood Education (preschool).

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