Early first aid was centred around the ancient Greek and Egyptian cultures (who were the equivalent of modern day pioneers). The strong prevalence of battles at the time saw their techniques adopted by the Roman army and, in later years, Napoleon and his legion corps.

Really this was just the beginning. In the following years, first aid would take on a whole new meaning and go on to save many lives. Historical characters of the time would lead the way in taking first aid to the masses.

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Drowning Concerns

The 18th century was a time of revolution, exploration and scientific development. During this period, great numbers of Amsterdammers were drowning each year in the city's network of canals. William Hawkes, an academic of the time, created a society for the preservation of life from accidents in water in 1767.

His work, and that of others at the time, can be roughly shown to be the beginning of the use of resuscitation techniques. The society's work began to save lives within the city, and its techniques have been adopted globally to this day.

Esmarch Bandage

Friedrich von Esmarch designed and distributed the ‘Esmarch’ bandage (pictured) during the Franco-Prussian war in the late 1800’s. The bandage could be tied in 32 different ways across various body parts to help injured soldiers in conflict. He taught these techniques, which are are still loosely followed today.

Did you know - The modern day triangular bandage that you find in a first aid kit is based on the Friedrich von Esmarch original design

Saint John of Jerusalem

In 1872, St John of Jerusalem moved away from hospice care within Britain towards more practical techniques designed to help treat and transport the sick and injured. Interestingly this could be the start of the ambulance service that we know today on our network of roads.

British Army

British surgeon Major Peter Shepherd discovered the wonders of the Esmarch bandage and adopted similar teachings in the British army in the late 1800’s. He would go on to give the first lectures on first aid to members of the public in Woolwich, London.

This represented a major shift in taking first aid training out of the battlefield, and into the hands of the general public. Word quickly started to spread and the teachings were adopted throughout the British empire.

Read on to find out to find out how these pioneers work has carried on into modern day teaching