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Florida Pushes for CPR in Schools

by Molly S. on Tuesday, September 3, 2013

This year, the American Heart Association is advocating for CPR in Florida Schools. David Francis, Government Relations Director, has been traveling the state to raise awareness of the issue. Here's an update from David.

CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) is a life-saving skill that every citizen in the state should learn. Effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest, can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. Since sudden cardiac arrest can happen at any time to anyone and anywhere, what can we do as citizens to arm ourselves with not only the knowledge but also the hands-on application of CPR?

There are many options available to us. We can visit the local American Heart Association training center and become fully certified, ask the local EMS or Fire Rescue department if training is available, or purchase a CPR training kit and train yourself. But there is even a simpler way, why not learn this skill where it is the most convenient; school.

The American Heart Association is advocating for Hands-Only CPR to be taught in high schools throughout the state as a graduation requirement. For those of you who believe that the schools are already overburdened with graduation requirements I say you are correct. However, what we are advocating for is to include CPR Hands-Only training in an already required course such as PE or Health. We are not asking for teachers to become certified to teach the course and we are not asking for students to become certified. We simply want to ensure that future generations of Floridians have not only the cognitive knowledge of CPR, but also hands on training. We would like to see every student graduate with the knowledge of how to save a life if a sudden cardiac arrest should occur. With almost half our schools already participating in CPR training, we should be able to bring the other half on board.

Is there a cost to implementing this policy? Possibly. If a school decides to purchase resources to teach the class, then yes, there will be a cost. However, after speaking to EMS Chiefs around the state, I have not heard anyone say they wouldn’t go into the school and train students in CPR if asked. Granted, I have not spoken with every Chief or Director in the state, but I am confident they would help if asked.

We'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment below about your thoughts of our CPR in Schools initiative.

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