Legislation requiring training in CPR and the use of defibrillators in high school was unanimously approved by the General Assembly on Monday, moving one step closer to the Governor’s desk with the Senate poised to grant final approval today as well. The legislation was sponsored by Assembly Democrats Angel Fuentes, Patrick Diegnan and Nancy Pinkin.
“From a public health standpoint, this is a smart move that has the potential to save countless lives in the long-run,” said Fuentes (D-Camden/Gloucester). “By instilling these techniques in young people at an early age, they will be prepared throughout their lives to rise to the occasion in the event of a life-threatening emergency.”
The bill (A-2072) would require public and charter schools that include grades 9 through 12 to provide instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) as part of the existing health education curriculum.
“I am proud to be a sponsor of the law which put defibrillators in our schools,” said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). “This next step which requires students to receive training in CPR and defibrillators will give kids the ability to literally save lives.”
Under the bill, instruction in CPR and the use of an AED would be provided to each high school student prior to graduation as part of the district’s implementation of the Core Curriculum Content Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. School districts may select a no-cost, non-certification instructional program to meet this requirement.
“Simply put, this bill will equip future generations with the knowledge and ability to save lives,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). “This is a relatively simple way to make sure more people learn these vital, life-saving techniques.”
The bill provides that the instruction must be modeled from an instructional program established by the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, or other nationally-recognized association with expertise in instruction in CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator; and include a hands-on learning component for each participating student. [TLS]