Understanding the Basics and Difference Between CPR and First Aid

emergency medical reponse performing the difference between cpr and first aid

First Aid and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) are two important medical procedures that everyone should know about as these two can help in life-and death-situations, but knowing how to perform these emergency procedures isn’t just enough.

Knowing and understanding the difference between CPR and First Aid is essential because they are two distinct emergency response procedures that need to be immediately and correctly performed in an emergency situation.

While both are life-saving techniques, Providing CPR in a situation where it is not necessary could actually cause more harm and potentially worsen the individual’s condition. Therefore, understanding the differences between CPR and First Aid is crucial to provide the appropriate care in an emergency, potentially saving someone’s life.

What is First Aid?

First Aid is a broader set of procedures for treating injuries, illnesses, and other medical emergencies. It is composed of quick and temporary medical assistance provided to a person who has been injured or has fallen ill. It can also be combined with various techniques, procedures, and actions that are used to provide immediate relief and help stabilize the person’s condition until professional medical help arrives.

Why is First Aid Required?

To provide First Aid is not only required in emergency and accident situations where a person needs immediate medical attention but also in daily life situations such as minor cuts, burns, and bruises. It is essential to have a basic understanding of First Aid techniques as it can be helpful in maintaining a safe and healthy environment, such as in the workplace, schools, and public places, where accidents and injuries can occur.

The Aims of First Aid

First Aid aims to provide immediate medical assistance and effective & efficient care to an injured person. As mentioned, First Aid can be a set of immediate and effective medical procedures that follow specific principles, and these principles are all aimed at preserving life and promoting recovery.

  • To protect the unconscious
  • To prevent the condition worsening
  • To promote recovery
  • To seek medical assistance

1. Preserve Life

Assessing the situation, calling for emergency medical assistance, and providing basic life support techniques if necessary can stabilize conditions and prevent deaths.

2. Protect the Unconscious

An unconscious person after an accident or illness must be protected through means of checking that his/her airway is clear and is placed in a safe position to prevent further harm

3. Prevent the condition worsening

Ensuring the patient’s safety and taking accurate and necessary steps to prevent any additional injuries or worsening conditions can actually minimize the severity of the injury or illness.

4. Promote Recovery

Appropriate care that meets the patient’s needs based on their condition should be provided to minimize the long-term effects of an injury and improve the chances of survival.

5. Seek Medical Assistance

First Aid is emergency care given to an injured or ill casualty before medical assistance arrives.

Medical assistance would be:         

  • Ambulance
  • Doctor
  • Nurse

How to Provide First Aid

To provide First Aid, you need to be familiar with the basic principles of First Aid and know what to do in an emergency situation. You can enrol in First Aid courses near you to learn more about First Aid basics and DRSABCD method that should be followed and performed in order.

Remember you must be qualified to render first aid. If you are not do what you can and call for assistance.

What is CPR?

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation or also known as CPR is a life-saving medical procedure specifically used to revive a person’s heart function and breathing. CPR is performed in cases where a person’s pulse cannot be detected and they are not taking breaths on their own. This vital technique is specifically designed to make all the difference between life and death for those affected.

The Basic Parts of CPR

There are three basic parts of CPR and these are all essential in providing immediate and effective medical assistance to a person experiencing cardiac arrest which potentially can save a life.


Danger refers to risks and hazards that may present a danger to the casualty and or the first aider, and possibly others as well. For example, if a casualty is lying in water near an electrical board, it should be assumed that there may be an electrical hazard.


The response is in trying to gain a response from the casualty firstly to see if they are conscious and aware and if so to seek the history, signs, and symptoms which will allow us to determine the best strategies for the provision of first aid.


The airway takes precedence over other injuries as without oxygen brain damage or death will result very quickly. While undertaking a primary survey if the casualty is not breathing the airway will need to be checked for obstruction and clear the airway ASAP.


If the casualty is not breathing it may be due to an airway obstruction or it may be that the casualty has stopped breathing for another reason such as drowning, or cardiac arrest which will be dealt with in the next section. Remember when an unconscious person is lying on their back their airway can become blocked or obstructed, so a breathing casualty should be placed in the lateral position.

Checking the airway

The airway should be checked with the casualty’s head in the neutral position (no head tilt). Open the mouth and look inside for any obvious obstruction.  If found to be obstructed, the casualty should be placed in the lateral position also known as the recovery position to drain or clear.


The early use of an AED (automated external defibrillator) has saved numerous lives as it can deliver an electrical shock to restart the heart, can guide the first aider on when and if CPR is needed, and can monitor the condition of the casualty after CPR.

When Should CPR be Used?

Providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique that is used to revive a person’s heart that has stopped beating or is not functioning properly.

CPR should also be used as soon as possible when a person is experiencing cardiac arrest. It is a crucial procedure to start immediately, ideally within the first few minutes in cases of cardiac arrest as the chances of survival decrease with each passing minute.

It is very important to seek proper training and certification in CPR to ensure that the technique is performed correctly and effectively.

Key Differences between CPR and First Aid

While both CPR and First Aid are important medical procedures, there are several key differences between the two.


The main difference between CPR and first aid lies in the level of training required. CPR is a more advanced technique that requires specific training and certification to perform correctly while first aid can be learned through basic training courses that are widely available.


Another key difference between CPR and first aid is their coverage. CPR is primarily used for reviving a person whose heart has stopped beating. First aid, on the other hand, covers a wide range of medical emergencies, including cuts, burns, broken bones, and other injuries.


CPR is generally performed on a person who is unresponsive and not breathing, while first aid techniques can be applied to a variety of conditions, including injuries, illnesses, and even environmental emergencies such as heat stroke or hypothermia.


CPR and first aid procedures also differ significantly. CPR involves chest compressions and rescue breaths, while first aid techniques may involve wound care, immobilization of fractures, or the application of heat or cold to an affected area.


The objectives of CPR and first aid is really different as the primary objective of CPR is to restore blood flow and oxygenation to vital organs, while the goal of first aid is to stabilize a person’s condition until they can receive proper medical attention.


In conclusion, it is vital to understand the basic difference between CPR and First Aid as this will either help or harm a person if not used with proper caution.

Basically, first aid techniques aim to prevent further harm to an injured or ill person and it has wider coverage of procedures. However, CPR is specifically intended to keep a person alive until emergency medical help arrives.

Though these 2 have great differences in terms of their procedure and when to use, both CPR and First Aid have the same goal in any crucial situation, and this to help save a person’s life.

To be prepared in case of any emergency, we highly recommend enrolling to a CPR and First Aid courses. Upskills QLD is your best choice when it comes to training and we have trained people from civil construction and traffic management to cpr, first aid, and many more.

If you want to be trained and certified by our passionate instructors, enroll with us today!

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June 23, 2023

Friendly, knowledgable trainers.

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June 22, 2023

Recently did a white card course at Upskills with Jason as the trainer. The training room was set up appropriately and Jason is a good trainer that explains the course in such a way that anyone can understand. Thank you to the whole team for a positive training experience.

Michaela McCartan
June 22, 2023

Massive thanks to Scotty and Michelle for getting us through our White Card and TC Course and sorting us out for our placement - everyone was more than helpful and they made it fun and interesting. Likewise, Jason and Lou were both equally as great in putting us through our TC Assessment. It was so enjoyable and they made us feel at ease the whole time. The whole team were amazing - so friendly and helpful and very quick at getting back to any questions or queries. The whole process was so straightforward with them. Definitely recommend!!

Kaci Cunningham
June 22, 2023

Myself and my friend completed both the white card course and the TC course with Upskills and I have to say that I couldn’t fault the staff in any way. All of the staff were very accommodating and helpful and never failed to answer our queries and questions. I couldn’t recommend Upskills enough !!!

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June 8, 2023


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June 7, 2023

Conveyed all information I need to make a decision not sure about parking

Ten Floyd
June 1, 2023

The course helped me improve my abilities in my job performance. The staff were very helpful and supportive throughout the course.

Sandra Allen
June 1, 2023

Five stars for Upskills, I have been doing Traffic Control for nearly 6yrs now, went and did my TMI course, Scott my trainer made me feel very comfortable and at easy, the professionalism and information was spot on and I couldn't have ask for anything better Upskills you "rock" and Scott you are "awesome", if you are looking to do a TC course go to UPSKILLS they are the best.

Kyle Newburn
May 22, 2023

Scotto was an absolute champ for my TMI course.

Callum Murray
May 10, 2023

Scotty did me TMI training working in prox to traffic 1 and 2 first time I've actually enjoyed it. Cheers bood

Sarrah Kassulke
May 6, 2023

I did my TC renewal with Scott as my trainer. He did a fantastic job keeping the class engaged. Michelle & Rusty are very helpful getting everyone organized with everything we needed for the course. I Highly recommend this RTO!

Wandering Seahorse
April 17, 2023

Excellent service, well presented. The trainer Scott definitely knew his stuff. Michelle was so pleasant & efficient. Will be sending my crew & myself back for more. Thanks Upskills Team.

Robyn Page
April 15, 2023

A great chief! Jason (Our trainer) A fabulous functional village after Jason's training courses. I gained the confidence and knowledge with the correct tools to apply in my workplace. I now look forward to representing my company out on the field. Thankyou Jason for keeping your courses interesting, engaging and fun. You definitely had your work cut out for you with all types of characters to educate and you made us all superstars ready for action!

Michael Jordan
March 25, 2023

Dear Traffic family, l recently did my Traffic licences renewal at Ukskills / Kippa Ring. The training was excellent and Jason our instructor not only taught us to be good safe Traffic individuals but also how to look after ourselves and our other road users. He showed us its just not a job it's a matter of duty of care to all road users. A great instructor and a successful course. Thankyou Upskills!

Ben Hayward
March 24, 2023

I highly recommend upskills qld for training. The most friendly and helpful staff out there.

Basia Lochki
March 13, 2023

Highly recommend training company, I renewed two tickets with Scotty as the trainer, he has an excellent delivery of information. He has experience on the ground as well as the training room, it was an absolute pleasure to be apart of his student group. Michelle in admin is great to deal with, she will guide you through the admin process, she is quick to reply to any questions. Thank you Scotty and Michelle for fast tracking me, I really appreciate it.

Aaron christopher Beasley
February 27, 2023

Jason and Michelle were aswome learnt a lot from Saturday renewal class thanks

Jose D
February 24, 2023

Highly recommended to anyone that’s looking to be certified in TC. Jason the trainer delivered thorough and extensive knowledge, very supportive and engaging through the entire course, couldn’t recommend his training & upskills any higher 5⭐️

Cayla Cockerill
February 23, 2023

Best place iv ever been to! Jason.k is a legend! Best trainer iv met and someone I will always look up to in this industry. HIGHLY recommend! You will not want to leave, I will always remember tircle haha. Best four days ever!!! Thank you everyone!

Mark French
February 22, 2023

The whole experience and professionalism was awesome. Great feedback on times and dates. It was good to see our Trainer Scott so passionate in what he does. Thoroughly enjoyed the course. Thanks Scott. Great course.

Wannabe Legend
February 2, 2023

Sadly just finished up an absolutely FANTASTIC traffic control course with Jason K, who is an absolute bloody LEGEND of a bloke, made the whole time we were there SUPER entertaining, and was very clear and concise with everything he had to teach, will definitely be highly highly highly recommending this course to all

Myles Jeckeln
January 24, 2023

Very friendly and very helpful

brendon Hallam
January 22, 2023
Georgia Smith
January 20, 2023

I was very happy to have Jason as my trainer. He was nothing but supportive, understanding, and welcoming. All the team are very lovely and helpful! I highly recommend this company!

Scott Phillips
December 15, 2022

I recently completed my TMI training with Jason as our trainer. From the moment I met him he was cracking a joke and put a smile on my face. Jason is an excellent trainer who knows his trade very well. I was pleasantly surprised by how much Jason made the course interesting, enjoyable, relevant and rewarding. Thanks mate. I also want to do a shout out to Michelle and the girls in the office for helping me get funding for the course. They are a no muck around, professional team and nothing was too much trouble for the girls. I'd recommend Upskills Qld to anyone keen to get into the industry or refreshing their skill set.

Patrick Kelly
December 15, 2022

Highly recommend this training group. All the people on the Office are lovely. Rusty and Michelle are both so helpful and go out of there way to help you. Scotty is an absolute legend. He is very detailed with his teaching. He is obviously very experienced in the industry. Highly recommend to anyone trying to obtain there traffic control ticket.

Dhdje Dsjjw
December 5, 2022
Ken Groom
December 2, 2022

Professional, Helpfull & Friendly

Belinda C
November 30, 2022

Kathi was my trainer and she was a blast. She knows her $hite being in the industry for 16+ years and an absolute hoot! She makes learning fun! I wish she was my teacher at school. Don't be afraid to ask questions and show up with a positive attitude! It will get you far. Can't wait to renew my ticket LOL Kathi keep up the great work chick. You're killing it!! You're the best trainer I've had by far!! See ya in 3 years hopefully x

William King
November 29, 2022

Really good 👍 Very helpful 👌 ☺️

Jacob Llewellyn
November 25, 2022

Just want to say that I enjoyed this alot and im looking forward to completing placement and further employment afterwards. Scott Glasson (Trainer) is absolutely AAA grade and knows his stuff. I completed a WhiteCard course and Tc/Tmi lvl 1/2 course with his help and definitely won't be looking back. If you can and its allowed request Scott! He's a bloody legend and will help you at every twist and bend. 5 star bloke for a 5 star company.

Peter Gunn
November 24, 2022

Have been training with Scott since Monday. Must say, his professionalism and enthusiasm he brings to a class is amazing. He's turned what is essentially a very tedious task, for someone like myself who has studied so much in so many industries, into an absolutely enjoyable experience. He pushes knowledge and information into you very quickly, but in such a way that it is enjoyable and so the information sticks. It's been an absolute pleasure having him as an educator and trainer.

Loz Espe
November 5, 2022

What an amazing trainer Jason K is, I had the absolute privilege to be trained by Jason, I would recommend upskills to anyone needing new or updated training, he is funny, knowledgeable and keeps you engaged at all times, he has definitely found his passion in life and is a wonderful human being cheers Jase. Kind regards Lauren.

Shane Demnar
November 2, 2022

Jason was great made the training day fly by seemed effoertless

Ben Mather
October 27, 2022

Ripper course by Scotty, easy to understand and well instructed.

Cory Mandavy
October 27, 2022

Scotty is a legend. Training was very easy to understand and covered all aspects of the course. Two thumbs up. 👍👍

Jake Vidler
October 26, 2022

That trainer Jason was a pretty rad lad and made sure we were all switched on and learning, absolute G.O.A.T 👍🏻

evan keys
October 26, 2022

Jase K is a top bloke, couldn't fault him, he is bald though.

Liam Jones
October 26, 2022

Jase k was totally rad trainer 10 /would do again

Igor Tomic
October 21, 2022

Excellent training with Jason and very good information on the course well done mate i haven't seen you in long time since we worked together it was nice to see you again yesterday we been both working together on numerous location keep up the good work will book TC licence level 1 with you next year

Allan Hutchinson
October 7, 2022

Treated very well and instructor was very helpful and explained everything very well. It was a pleasure to do the refresher course with these guys.

Colin Flanders
October 6, 2022

Jason is a great Trainer very good at what he does Keep it up, knows his stuff

Daniel Nolan
October 3, 2022


Nathan T
September 29, 2022

Traffic Control with Jason K has been a blast. His attitude and sense of humor made the week both fun and informative. Anyone would be lucky to be trained by him.

Safron Barclay
September 29, 2022

Hats off to Jason for being a star trainer. I have to say, his enthusiasm, energy and knowledge keeps the course interesting, engaging and relevant. Delivers concisely and makes sure everyone understands the training material taught with confidence.

Michael Widgell
September 25, 2022

Like the way Scott has presented himself towards everyone was a great privilege and the safety side of being a traffic controller

September 8, 2022

Did my training/course with Jason who was seriously an awesome teacher who showed a genuine intrest to communicate to make sure everything was understood. Jason's whole attitude and personality made everything easy as he explained in detail every step of the way.... I Highly recommend ...⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Louis Wade Huaki Steedman
September 8, 2022

Thanks Jason! Awesome course! Cheers

Ricky Boogaards
September 8, 2022

Awesome experience with Jason.

Dave Ashcroft
August 31, 2022

Great course. Jason k is an awesome training instructor. Thank u .

Nicholas Maher
August 31, 2022

I was very pleased and impressed with the level of training I received under Jason K. I'm now confident and excited to enter the traffic control industry equipped with the skills and knowledge I received. Thank you Jason!!

Jonathon Donahoo
June 29, 2022

Great place to learn. Scott is a awesome teacher. It's good to finally have a trainer that knows his stuff and can teach it in ways that's relevant

Kylie-Jo Mamalos
May 17, 2022

Kathi is a great trainer