Rhode Island advocates rocked the State House on May 7th during our annual Lobby Day! The focus of the day was our CPR in Schools Funding campaign. The American Heart Association is asking the General Assembly to include funding in the FY 2015 budget to purchase new CPR manikins for all high schools in our state. The small amount of money that we are requesting could go a long way toward helping schools implement the new CPR training requirement that was signed into law last year. Advocates met with 36 senators and representatives during Lobby Day to garner support for this important issue.
Special thanks to our Lobby Day team: Dr. Steven Fera, Dr. Brian Silver, Tracey Kennedy, John Potvin EMT-C, Miriam Plitt, Laurie Stephenson, Lisa Deck, Kathy Harrington, Shandra Printer, Annmarie Hanson, Carolyn Belisle, Kristin Fraser, Paula Allin, Victoria Smith, Michelle Karn, Sara McMullen, Korrie Chapman and Allyssa Feit.
The CPR in Schools Law requires all high school students to receive hands-on CPR training and an overview of automated external defibrillator (AED) use prior to graduation as part of the health education curriculum. While there are many ways this can be accomplished, providing purpose-built CPR manikins will help ensure quality training for students in our state. Right now, approximately 90 percent of people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest do not survive – most die because they do not receive bystander CPR. The death rate is staggering and tragic. We are going to change that in Rhode Island by creating a generation of lifesavers and heroes. CPR is one of life’s critical lessons – together we can make sure our students are as prepared as possible to save a life.