The New York State Senate passed legislation today, sponsored by Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-I-Buffalo, that would enable high school students to be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of automated defibrillators.
"Schools prepare students with essential life skills, and CPR skills are among the most critical lifesaving skills that make our communities safer, year after year," Grisanti said. "It takes only a few minutes to teach CPR. Sixteen states are now ensuring students learn CPR prior to graduation, and it's time to add New York to the list.
"I'm honored to have such strong support from the American Heart Association, police, fire and EMT groups, and so many other people and organizations who recognize that someday this bill could mean the difference between life and death. I hope the Assembly will join us in passing this measure."
The American Heart Association states about 400,000 people have sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital every year, and only about 10 percent of them survive - most likely because they don't receive timely CPR. Given right away, CPR doubles or triples survival rates.
The bill (S7096) requires the commissioner of education to make recommendations to the Board of Regents in regard to hands-on CPR and AED instruction. The commission would be required to consider time and financial impacts of the instruction and seek input from impacted parties such as teachers, parents, students, administrators and others.
"In addition to providing more life-saving skills in our schools, this training would put more CPR- and AED-trained individuals into our communities to provide assistance until EMTs arrive," Grisanti said.
Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg sponsors the bill in the Assembly.