More than 11,000 of Melbourne's taxi drivers will be taught basic first aid skills.

As part of their training drivers from 13CABS will learn what to do in an emergency, how to help an unconscious passenger and how to treat wounds and burns.

It is an initiative of St John Ambulance which says at least one passenger a week has a first aid incident in a taxi.

St John chief executive, Stephen Horton, says a cabbie is often the only person there during an emergency.

"We know that first aid saves lives and it's critical in the first five minutes after an incident that first aid is applied," he said.

"Cab drivers are mixing with people all day every day, so there couldn't be a better starting point for this initiative."

Taxi driver Danny Zoghaib says the course has given him the confidence to deal with incidents involving passengers.

"Well I've had an incident before, about four years ago I had an elderly lady fall and hurt herself and I panicked," he said.

"Whereas now with this training that I've had at a training centre at 13CABS, I did it for an hour, it was simple and it was basic and at least now I would be more confident to deal with it."

The online training scheme is a national first.

If successful the trial will be expanded to other Victorian businesses and then introduced nationally.


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