Legislation sponsored by Senator Diane Allen requiring public and charter high schools to provide students with training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator is now law after being signed by Acting Governor Kim Guadagno on August 20, 2014.
“There’s undeniable value in this life-saving training and I’m proud that today as a state we have taken the step to make sure it’s taught in our high schools,” said Allen (R-Burlington). “Teaching students the ability to save a life is the most important skill we can give them.”
The legislation S-235, was signed in a ceremony at Burlington Township Middle School. On June 11, a Burlington Township Middle School student who collapsed in gym class was revived after staff performed CPR and used a defibrillator.
“What happened at Burlington Township Middle School makes it clear that this type of preparation and training can be the difference between life and death,” said Allen, a former water safety instructor. “Giving students this same training will make sure they know how to respond should they ever be in a situation at school or later in life where they have to act.”
The legislation, which takes effect starting with the 2014-2015 ninth grade class, provides that the training can be based on available free instructional programs.
According to the American Heart Association, a victim’s chance of survival can double or triple if a bystander immediately provides CPR effectively. However, only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims are able to receive CPR from a CPR-educated bystander. Under legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean) and signed into law in 2012 all schools must have a defibrillator on site by this September.