ST JOHN Ambulance is set to make Sunderland a safer place to work.
The charity is doubling its training on Wearside to meet the demand for first aid and health and safety cover in the workplace.
It has launched its new base at the North East Business Innovation Centre (Bic) and handed out free £10 first aid kits to students who enrolled on its opening day.
In addition to first aid, it will also train people in health and safety, fire marshal training and more, with more sessions to be added next year.
The centre can now take up to 24 students at a time and hold twice as many courses.
Training manager Fred Owen said: “First aid and health and safety in the workplace are more than just legal requirements – they can be the difference between life and death.”
He added: “It’s our business to make sure workplace first aiders leave our courses knowing exactly what to do whenever first aid is needed.
“It will make first aid more accessible, and we hope it will encourage more employers to help their staff learn the skills that can be the difference between a life lost and a life saved.
“We have numerous examples of people who have been sent on workplace first aid courses only to find their skills have helped them to save the life of a colleague, family member or act confidently in an emergency.”
Bic facilities manager Jill Smith said: “It’s great that they are attracting more customers to the site and that we were able to support the charity with larger training facilities.”
Vicky Kidd, despatch team leader for Northern Gas Networks in Sunderland, has completed a first aid course there.
She said: “We have always used St John Ambulance to train our staff, as they are the leading first aid provider.
“The new training facilities are superb.”