MERRIVALE Primary School is among the first of Warrnambool and district schools to get involved in a free program to train children to administer first aid.
St John Ambulance chief executive officer Stephen Horton said schools had been invited to take part in the program that aims to help children save lives.
Mr Horton said most accidents happened at home but less than a third of households had someone who had been recently trained in first aid.
"There's obviously a big gap here and St John believes there is no better place to start bridging this gap than at school," Mr Horton said.
"We know children are sponges for knowledge and we believe if we teach them the skills to save a life from an early age, this will help future generations to come."
St John hopes to train 10,000 children in Victoria in term four of 2012 and an additional 50,000 in 2013. The long-term goal is to train more than 200,000 students each year in first aid.
The program will run throughout the year with sessions from a qualified St John trainer during school hours for prep to grade 2, grade 3-4 and secondary school students in years 7-8.
Mr Horton said St John hoped to work with partner organisations to help extend the program to more regions across Victoria.
Businesses or individuals wanting to help fund the program for their communities should contact St John, he said.
"Regional areas have limited access to emergency facilities and ambulance response times can often be greater," Mr Horton said.
"Therefore teaching first aid skills is imperative in these areas."
Mr Horton said the program was inspired by a similar initiative by St John Ambulance Western Australia .
The rollout of the program in Victoria follows successful trial and pilot phases for more than 1000 students held during terms two and three this year.
Schools can register to be a part of the First Aid in Schools program for the remainder of 2012 or pre-register for the program in 2013.