Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Saturday AB 1719, a law that requires hands-on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instruction, along with Automated External Defibrillator awareness in high school health classes.
California is the 35th state to provide CPR training in schools,
along with Washington, D.C., spokeswoman Robin Swanson said. State
Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) authored the bill.
"As an Emergency Medical Technician for over 30 years, I know that
CPR is one of the most important life skills a person can have," Rodriguez
said in a statement.
"By teaching CPR in high school, we are sending students into the
world with essential, life-saving skills," Rodgriguez said.
High schools will begin to teach CPR in health classes in the
2018-2019 school year, Swanson said, in a lesson that takes 30 minutes.
"I am so glad I learned CPR at a young age because it helped save
my friend's life," 13-year-old American Heart Association volunteer Skylar
Berry said in a statement.
"We should all be prepared to act in the case of an emergency and
I'm happy other students will now get the chance to learn CPR," Skylar said.
Skylar used her CPR training to save a friend from drowning in a
swimming pool when she was 11, Swanson said. Many others have died because no
one near them could administer CPR.
"If someone had been near my daughter at the time of her collapse
had known how to conduct CPR, her life could have been saved," AB 1719
advocate Debbie Wilson said in a statement.
"I want all students to have a chance to learn this life-saving
skill so other families don't suffer the same heartbreak that ours did,"
Every year, more than 350,000 people suffer from sudden cardiac
arrest outside of a hospital, and less than one-third receives CPR from a
bystander, Swanson said. CPR and defibrillation can more than double the
chance of survival.
"So many lives have been saved because of the heroic act of
bystanders who performed CPR. On the other hand, there are just as many
stories of people who did not make it because no one nearby took action,"
cardiothoracic surgeon Kathy Magliato said in a statement.
"With CPR in schools, we have the opportunity to create a
generation in which teens and young adults in California [are trained in CPR
as part of their health education and prepared to save lives. AB 1719 will
add thousands of qualified lifesavers to our state," Magliato said.