American Heart Association Introduces Bill to Require High Schoolers to Have CPR Skills Before Graduation

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – “Even bad CPR, is still better than nothing at all, “says Jeremy Robertson, EMS Educator.

Robertson has been an EMS educator for 15 years and knows during an emergency, every minute counts.

“When I go to a cardiac arrest call if I see somebody doing CPR; I know that person’s chances are pretty good, but if I arrive and there’s nobody doing anything. Then I know that that person’s chances of survival are pretty low, “says Robertson.

It’s the chance to save a life that keeps him in the business and Jeremy wants to see more people live through cardiac arrest. So does the American Heart Association; the organization’s goal is for every high school student in South Dakota, to learn CPR before they graduate.

“We would have ten thousand individuals every year added to the number of trained CPR; number of people that are trained to give hands-only CPR in the state of South Dakota, “says Chrissy Meyer, Communications Director for the American Heart Association.

On Wednesday, legislators will start discussing Senate bill 140. It would require all high-schoolers in the state to learn hands-only CPR, meaning just chest compressions and not mouth-to-mouth.

The bill is sponsored by the association and it’s not the first time they’ve proposed the bill. Three years ago the organization tried to get a similar measure through, but it didn’t pass.

“This time around we feel like we made some tweaks to the bill that makes it more affordable for schools. In fact, if schools partner with local EMT’s as we suggest, they would be able to have this training for free, so it would be no cost to the schools, “says Meyer.

Meyer says it’s not only their goal to train future generations, but to introduce them to a career in healthcare as well.

“Having that time to interact with EMT’s and understand, that hey, I can do this. I could be someone that could respond. It sparks interest in potentially being a volunteer or first responder in their community or even pursuing a career in health care, “says Meyer.

36 other states already have similar legislation in place.

Related Post