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Will South Dakota Be Next to Include CPR in Schools?

by Pamela M. on Saturday, June 7, 2014

In the 2014 legislative session, You’re the Cure volunteers convinced SD lawmakers to pass SB 145, encouraging schools to train students in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Inclusion of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training in high school represents a significant opportunity to train up to 11,000 students a year in bystander CPR and greatly enhance our emergency services capacity in South Dakota.

We made some great progress toward our goal during the legislative session, but we’re not done yet! The SD Board of Education still has to require hands-only CPR skill training in statewide school curriculum.

A CPR standard will provide our schools - often the center of community activity - and our communities with a growing force of those knowledgeable to 1) call 9-1-1, and then 2) immediately start chest compressions. 

Currently, a number of districts have already included CPR training – Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, Watertown and Mitchell are some of the districts we are aware of doing so.  If not part of established curriculum or as a statewide policy statement, we may have many underserved areas that may be most in need of more trained by-standers.

The most critical link in the state’s emergency response for such a system is the start of chest compressions.  It is our weakest link in our state’s chain of survival. New national CPR training curriculum includes the ability to offer a 20 - 30 minute skills course, led by a school teacher or guest instructor (EMS).

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