Lawmakers are considering the possibility of making CPR training compulsory for graduation from high school, so that it would not be possible to graduate from high school without a certificate of completion proving that students are not only aware of the basics of CPR, but also know how to implement it correctly.
Such a bill was brought up by the Education Committee and was recently passed for hearing. The justification behind this bill is the fact that CPR training can prove instrumental in saving lives in the case of a cardiac arrest.
Questions were taken regarding the bill while lawmakers and representatives answered questions and addressed the concerns of the committee. The primary concern was whether or not each classroom required an automated external defibrillator (AED) and it was clarified that this was not the case. However, as part of the program, extensive AED as well as CPR training would be given. This allows students to gain not just the theoretical and practical experience necessary to administer CPR, but also be familiar with the equipment that can be used.
The speaker talked about how it would only suffice to provide both written as well as practical proof of successfully completing CPR training.
This bill was supported by two individuals who had survived cardiac arrests. They mentioned how it would not have been possible for them to have survived had no one been around to administer CPR correctly and at the right time. It was also supported by another woman who had lost her young son to an unexpected cardiac arrest. She explained how his life could have been saved had someone been nearby to administer CPR at the critical time.
The movement was proposed based on the fact that the number one killer of Americans has been heart disease, while cardiac arrest is the number one reason of death among young athletes.
While education officials were more or less in agreement on the benefits of introducing the training, they were also concerned over the idea of adding on another graduation requirement for, as they felt, already overburdened students. They felt that students were already struggling to complete the already existing requirements of the high school system, and adding on another requirement would make things difficult for them. They recommended that CPR training should not be made compulsory. Rather it should only be voluntary and students should be able to obtain the training outside the environment of their respective schools. There were also keen on finding out how much implementation of the bill would cost the state. This is of special concern in a situation when the education sector is already suffering as a result of state budget cuts in education funding.
As of right now, it is expected that the bill will kick in for those expected to graduate in 2016. Next week, however, the committee will be taking further action to explore the implementation of the bill.