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Best First Aid Classes: Beginner & Intermediate [2023]

First aid knowledge is a valuable asset. So, to get you prepped, we put together a list of the best first aid classes for every skill level.

    Disaster can, unfortunately, strike at any moment. It can come in the form of a car accident on the way to work or even at the range.

    Do you know what to do if tragedy unfolds?

    Mountain Man Medical CAT
    Can you handle an emergency?

    If not, don’t fret. There are plenty of resources dedicated to educating civilians on the ins and outs of first aid and how to handle bad situations.

    You could do all that heavy research yourself…but why would you when you have us?

    Having a good IFAK or first aid kit in your car is a wise plan but you also need to carry a tourniquet on your body. If you have an EDC you can also have an EDC TQ.
    Are you prepared to deal with disaster?

    We’ve taken the headache out of researching classes by rounding up our favorite first aid classes.

    As an American Heart Association Basic Life Support Instructor, I take this stuff pretty seriously. So, this ain’t your mama’s basic, boring list.

    Stephen Colbert Nerd Zone

    This list covers everything from basic bumps and bruises all the way to stockpiling meds and chest wounds.

    To make things easier, I’ve divided this list right down the middle. First stop, beginner classes — the no-frills, basics.

    If you’ve already had first aid or CPR training but want a little oomph (to include wilderness and tactical training), skip to the intermediate section.

    Summary of Our Top Picks

    1. Best CPR & First Aid Course

      American Heart Association Heartsaver First Aid, CPR, AED

      The AHA offers both in-person classes and a hybrid online/in person skill check off that makes it a good solution for those that want to go hands-on.

    2. Best Variety

      Red Cross First Aid and CPR

      The Red Cross has everything from adult first aid to kid first aid to even pet first aid. It's got the larget collection of classes and most are pretty affordable.

    3. Best Online First Aid Course

      MyMedic M.A.R.C.H. Course

      If you want purely online training with the most up-to-date info, the MyMedic is the one to choose. It's pricey but worth it!

    4. Best Gun Centric Beginner's Course

      MyMedic Gunshot Wound Training

      If you're looking specific to gunshot wound care, the MyMedic course is a great option with tons of good info!

    5. Best Free Blood Loss Prevention Course

      Stop the Bleed

      Stop the Bleed focuses on controlling bleeding and best of all it's a completely free course -- both in person and online.

    6. Best Range First Aid Course

      Mountain Man Medical Range Medicine Training Course

      The MountainMan Medical Range Medicine Training helps you deal with accidents on the range. At $2, it's a great option for every gun owner!

    7. Best Civilian Based Intermediate Course

      Civilian Medical Course

      This course is geared to regular joes who find themselves in dire situations. With reality based scenarios, it's a great course to prepare.

    8. Best Wilderness Course

      NOLS Wilderness First Aid

      If you're a hiker, camper, or just want to be able to deal with first aid issues in the woods...this is your course.

    9. Best for Preppers

      Active Response Training Tactical First Aid and System Collapse Medicine

      Great for survivalists and preppers who want a better understanding of how first aid works after a system collapse.

    10. Most Unique Courses

      Doom & Bloom Survival Medicine/Wound Care

      If you want a focus on survivalism and/or sutures and stitching, take a Doom & Bloom course.

    Table of Contents


    Why Invest in First Aid Training?

    First aid training is one of those skills you probably don’t think much about.

    I mean, unless you hurt yourself often, there’s no reason to think about that sort of thing, right?

    On the contrary, first aid is a valuable life skill!

    First Aid Hey Arnold

    Let’s face it, you never know when you’ll stumble into a situation where you might need to help others.

    Especially if you’re a pew-pewer like us and spend loads of time at the range, you’re going to want a working knowledge of first aid.

    Faxon Ion Shooting
    Nothing ruins a fun day of shooting like a boo-boo.

    The good news… there are plenty of courses you can take to level up.

    Read on to find out which courses we recommend to get you up and running!

    Best First Aid Classes: Beginners

    1. American Heart Association Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED

    The American Heart Association’s Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED is a comprehensive course dedicated to teaching laypeople the ins and outs of CPR and first aid.

    From treating basic injuries like scrapes and scratches to performing CPR and using an AED, this course has just about all you need to get up to speed.

    Besides offering a ton of good information, the AHA brings options in terms of class attendance.

    Baby CPR
    If a baby can do it…so can you!

    You can opt for a traditional in-class setting or take on a blended learning format.

    The blended learning course allows you to work on coursework from the comfort of your home. After class work is complete, meet with a local instructor for a skill session.

    They’ll ensure you are performing skills correctly.

    With instructors all over the U.S., you can most likely find a Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED course near you.

    In-person sessions usually last one day and cost between $50 and $75, depending on the instructor.

    Online classes with an in-person skill session offer more flexibility if you’re short on time. And bonus, they cost a little less –usually priced $20 or lower.

    Best CPR & First Aid Course
    at American Heart Association

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    2. Red Cross First Aid and CPR

    The Red Cross is synonymous with first aid, so it’s no wonder this organization and its courses made our list.

    Offering a wide variety of classes — everything from babysitting to CPR and AED — the whole family can join in. The Red Cross even provides classes on dog and cat first aid!

    First Aid Dog
    Sometimes even pets need first aid. Luckily, a lot of human first aid can be used on pets!

    Like the AHA, the Red Cross offers both in-person and online courses, so you can really tailor it around your schedule.

    You also have the ability to really drill down what you’re interested in learning. Choose from adult, pediatric (fancy word for kids), or both.

    Again, the Red Cross is pretty much everywhere, so you will easily be able to find and sign-up for a class near you.

    Best Variety
    at Red Cross

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Bonus: online classes are pretty affordable! They usually cost less than $50, with most coming in around $30 to $35.

    In-person classes do cost a bit more — priced over $100 in most areas.

    3. MyMedic M.A.R.C.H. & Gun Shot Wound Courses

    MyMedic brings a well-put-together series of videos tailored to a variety of first aid interests.

    Their M.A.R.C.H. course brings out the basics while addressing mass hemorrhaging, airway, respiration, circulation, and hypothermia.

    MyMedic First Aid
    Host Billy Haley, Director of Education at MyMedic and a Special Forces Medic.

    Hosted by Billy Haley, the course is entertaining while also giving you all the info you need to start your first aid journey.

    There are live demos, and we really liked how accessible the information was. Haley does a fantastic job of breaking down complex information in a way that makes sense but isn’t boring.

    MyMedic MARCH

    Retailing for $124, it’s pricey but well worth it for the quality information and the elevated user experience.

    Best Online First Aid Course
    at MyMedic

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    In addition to the M.A.R.C.H course, MyMedic also offers a Gunshot Wound specific class. We really liked this one as it addressed the major concerns that you might have when dealing with gunshot wounds.

    MyMedic GunShot Wound Course

    It’s presented in an apolitical manner that, regardless of your political beliefs, you can get behind. It’s all about information, and with mass shootings happening in schools, churches, etc., it’s a great way to get spun up on how to save lives.

    Like the M.A.R.C.H course, it’s broken down into easy-to-follow sections that are followed by a quiz to assess learning. Haley hosts this one as well, and his friendly demeanor and knowledge really make it a great learning environment.

    MyMedic GunShot Wound Course
    Really liked this demo of what rounds do in the body!

    We also really liked that MyMedic included a lesson on ballistics that showed how different calibers and rounds react in ballistic gel.

    Haley also does a great job of not just addressing the physical ailments of a gunshot wound but also the mental/emotional well-being of patients. He guides responders on how to keep a patient’s spirits up and also how to communicate what care you’re giving.

    The Gunshot Wound course, like the M.A.R.C.H. course, retails for $124.

    at MyMedic

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    All in all, the MyMedic courses are some of our favorites, and we highly recommend them if you have the money to spend.

    Also, MyMedic makes some really good first aid kits and gear. We know because we reviewed them!

    4. Stop the Bleed

    Stop the Bleed is newer than the Red Cross and AHA programs and takes on a focused approach to life-saving treatment.

    There’s no CPR here.

    The focus is solely on bleeding or rather controlling bleeding until EMS arrives.

    Stop the Bleed

    Administered by the American College of Surgeons on Trauma, the initiative began to better educate civilians on how to administer care in the event of a traumatic injury that leads to excessive blood loss.

    Stop the Bleed courses cover things like applying pressure to wounds, how to pack a wound, and how to correctly apply a tourniquet.

    All the tourniquets!

    This is a decent course to take if your only interest lies in helping stop or stem blood loss on the range or at home while you wait on EMS.

    Oh, and before we forget, Stop the Bleed is one of the most cost-effective means to get your foot in the door.

    The course is completely free…yep, can’t beat that price!

    Best Free Blood Loss Prevention Course
    at Stop the Bleed

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    5. Mountain Man Emergency Trauma Response & Range Medicine Training Courses

    The Trauma Medicine Course from Mountain Man Medical offers a free way to get some first aid knowledge. Alongside host Brian McLaughlin, viewers will learn the basics of first aid.

    We really like that the course starts off by not only talking about the gear you might need to stock up on but also the importance of accessing this gear. McLaughlin talks about common places to keep a first aid kit around our house, so it’s easy to get to.

    Mountain Man Trauma Course

    Each section of the course covers a different aspect of the first aid world – from massive hemorrhaging to airway issues – and is pared down to easy-to-digest sections.

    The longest is 17 minutes, with most others coming in under 10 mins. There’s also a quiz at the end of each lesson so you can test your knowledge.

    We also appreciated that McLaughlin presents a lifelike scenario for what he teaches, complete with fake blood, so you can get used to what you would see if you rolled up on a similar situation.

    Mountain Man Trauma Course
    Mountain Man Trauma Course

    Again, this is a free course, so it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that others do. There’s no way to change your speed while watching, so if you’re an ADHD’er who prefers watching things at 2x…you’re out of luck.

    Not to mention, the layout for the course is a little confusing, and quiz questions are sometimes worded in a way that makes you go, “huh?” At the end of the day, though, it’s a free course.

    at Mountain Man Medical

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    So, if you want to get a jump start and don’t have the time or money to sit in a class, this is a great way to get your basics up to speed.

    Also, worth mentioning that Mountain Man offers a range-specific first aid course that covers injuries you would encounter at the shooting range.

    Mountain Man Medical Ankle IFAK
    If you go to the range, you’re going to want to know how to use this stuff…

    For $2, we think it’s totally worth getting spun up on how to deal with those injuries if you’re on the range often.

    Best Range First Aid Course
    at Mountain Man Medical

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    Mountain Man Medical also offers first aid kits that are pretty easy to take to the range, so be sure to read up on those in our full written review.

    Best First Aid Classes: Intermediate

    6. Civilian Medical

    The brainchild of We Like Shooting’s Shawn Herrin, the Civilian Medical class is designed for civilians who aren’t afraid to get their hands a little dirty.

    Civilian Medical Class
    Civilian Medical class in action. (Photo: milehighangel via We Like Shooting)

    The class covers all the bad things you might encounter in a trauma — severe blood loss, airway issues, head injuries, and wounds.

    Civilian Medical even covers trauma kits — including recommendations on which ones you should buy. That alone is worth its weight in gold!

    Simpsons First Aid

    If you want to devise strategies for situations you might find yourself in and get recommendations on gear to get the job done, take this course.

    Slight word of warning — this class isn’t intended for those with weak stomachs.

    Best Civilian Based Intermediate Course
    at We Like Shooting

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    If you want some great civilian-based medical info but can’t really get to a class right now, Herrin has teamed up with Skinny Medic for the Civilian Medical Podcast.

    Tune in to get all the info on skills, products, mindset, and techniques!

    7. NOLS Wilderness First Aid

    For the adventurer who enjoys long hikes in the woods, family outdoor activities, or camping, Wilderness First Aid is the perfect course to invest your time and resources.

    This style focuses exclusively on the types of injuries, accidents, and situations you might find on the trail.

    3. Hiking with Kelty MAP
    Hiking can be fun, but there are definitely some dangers.

    It covers how to provide first aid treatment for common outdoor injuries, assess injured persons, and evacuate to safety.

    Offered through NOLS — a nonprofit global wilderness school — this class might not be in your neck of the woods. So, you might need to travel to attend.

    NOLS Wilderness Survival
    (Photo vis Instagram)

    Also, it can get a little pricey, with most classes running north of $200.

    That said, the information and training you’ll receive are invaluable, and you can’t really put a price on safety and first aid.

    Best Wilderness Course
    at NOLS

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    8. Active Response Training Tactical First Aid and System Collapse Medicine

    Calling all my preppers, do I have a class for you!

    The hands-on Tactical First Aid and System Collapse Medicine course is dedicated to teaching participants survival techniques during a long-term breakdown of the medical system.

    Expect to learn the basics of wound management and closure, as well as what medications you should stockpile.

    EDC Medical Travis full kit
    Learn what gear and meds to stock!

    Additionally, students are presented with the military’s latest Tactical Combat Casualty Care protocols, which dive into how to stop traumatic bleeding and treat sucking chest wounds.

    If you want to truly prepare for an apocalyptic event, this one to two day course is THE one to take.

    Prepping 101 with Allison
    Grab your tin foil hat and get ready to learn! (We kid, we kid.)

    Taught by the legendary Greg Ellifritz (seriously, Google him if you don’t know who he is), the course comes in at just over $200.

    It’s a steal for all the awesome info you’ll walk away with!

    Best for Preppers
    at Active Response Training

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    9. Doom & Bloom All Day Survival and Wound Care Classes

    Dr. Joseph Alton and Nurse Amy Alton are mainstays in the first aid community, running Doom & Bloom. These two join forces to offer both gear and interesting courses for survivalists.

    The All Day Survival Medicine Class is one that you don’t want to miss if you want to survive the apocalypse.

    Running into woods
    Running from zombies? You’re bound to get hurt.

    The class focuses on medical skills designed to keep you (and your buddies) alive in survival situations.

    In addition to the Survival Medicine Class (and Advanced Survival if you want to continue learning), they also run a Complete Wound Care that actually teaches you how to care for wounds… which includes how to suture and staple.

    Most Unique Courses
    at Doom & Bloom

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Prices accurate at time of writing

    Available Coupons

    If you’re looking for training that is useful but also a little unique, definitely check out Doom & Bloom.  

    Final Thoughts

    First aid and CPR training are essential skills that every citizen should learn, especially if you spend a lot of time around guns. At the least, take a free Stop the Bleed course.

    But, consider investing in your first aid education and get certified in first aid, CPR, and AED.

    It’s not just about gear…it’s about training too!

    Though some classes might run a little pricey, it’s worth the energy and the cash to get up to speed on how to help yourself and others.

    And if you’re really committed to growing your medical knowledge, consider taking full-fledged EMT classes.

    (Hint, some EMS departments let you volunteer, then pay for the classes you need to become an EMT or paramedic!)

    Paramedics Simpsons

    Regardless, get trained and stay alive!

    What training do you recommend? Let us know below! Ready to stock your first aid kid with the best gear? Check out our Best IFAKs and EDC Medical Kits.

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    6 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar
      Chuck Cochran

      No argument here Jack. As a retired Paramedic and Trauma RN, and ACLS, PALS and TNCC Trainer, I couldn't agree more. Every Gun Owner needs at least Basic Life Support Training and Skills, and if they're serious about it, Intermediate to Advance Training and Skills. If the class aren't available in your area, check with the area hospitals, fire and EM Services. Some of the Rural Volunteer Fire and EMS will help pay for the class, if you join the volunteer service. Another potential source is Community Colleges. Many offer the EMT- B class in their curriculum. Some, only charge for the class, so you don't get stuck with all of the other fees.

      The life you save, may well be your own, and who knows, it may lead to a part time or second career for you.

      March 14, 2023 6:13 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Andrew J Sessions

      I also recommend an EMT basic course for anybody wanting some expensive but very thorough course. You can also get a job with it

      March 14, 2023 1:24 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      Bruce E

      Are you familiar with the Doom and Bloom courses? They sound legit and like they are very good courses, but I'm a newbie, so I really have no perspective. Any opinions? Thanks.

      August 8, 2021 10:00 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Pat O’C

        These guys have been in the apocalypse medicine game for a long time..
        I have their Survival Medical Hand Book as well as their Antibiotics and Infectious Disease book.
        My training is limited to TCCC, so these books are an excellent addition for longer term care.

        August 9, 2021 3:37 am
      • Commenter Avatar
        Jacki Billings, Editor

        I've met the Altons and talked to them before about their books and what they do. They are super sweet and seem very knowledgeable. Their classes weren't included on this list because at the time of writing they didn't have any classes listed as available. So, I tried to offer classes I knew were still in session.

        August 9, 2021 4:40 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Shawn P

      Check out D-Dey Response Group TCCC course. Very intensive, very informative! On you tube also.

      February 23, 2021 6:18 pm
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