Submitted by SCAFoundation on Tue, 02/24/2015 - 11:48pm

Twenty other states, one California district have made training mandatory

SACRAMENTO, CA--A Democratic assemblyman has introduced a bill into the California Legislature that would require students to learn how to perform CPR before they graduate high school. 

Assembly Bill 319 was introduced Friday by Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, D-Pomona, who said the bill would empower young people to save lives.

“CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is one of the most important life skills a person can have,” Rodriguez said in a statement Friday. “I have been an emergency medical technician for over 30 years and I have seen too many cases that could have turned out differently if a bystander had known how to administer CPR.”

The bill, co-sponsored by the American Heart Association, would require school districts toprovide instruction to students on how to perform CPR.

That training would be based on standards that are “at least equivalent” to those “currently used by the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association, or an instructional program that is nationally recognized and based on the most current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines,” according to the bill.

“The American Heart Association’s goal is to teach lifesaving CPR skills to as many California teens and young adults as possible to help keep our communities safer, year after year,” said Dr. Franklin Pratt, medical director of the Los Angeles County Fire Department and volunteer spokesman for the American Heart Association.

“We applaud Assembly member Rodriguez for introducing this bill that will prepare millions of young people to become our ‘first first responders.’”

Similar legislation has been passed in 20 states and, in January, the Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District became the first district in California to require hands-on CPR training, as well as training in how to use an automated external defibrillator, as part of a health class that is required for graduation.

The William S. Hart Union High School District does offer CPR training through some programs, but board member Steve Sturgeon says he’s not sure it should be made a requirement for graduation.

“I don’t know about it being embedded into a health class or as a graduation requirement, but knowledge of CPR is advantageous,” he said.

Board member Gloria Mercado-Fortine noted there are many oganizations in the Santa Clarita Valley that offer students and others a chance to learn CPR.

AB 319 is expected to be heard in committees this spring.

SOURCE: The Signal