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Calif. lawmakers vote to implement mandatory hands-only CPR in high schools

If signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, California will join 34 other states that require CPR to be taught in schools

By EMS1 Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After passing unanimously in the California State Legislature, a bill requiring California high schools to include hands-only CPR in their curriculum has been sent to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown to sign.

Students can be taught the fundamental life-saving skill of hands-only CPR in about a half hour. If passed, California would join the ranks of 34 other states that currently provide CPR training in schools.

According to an AHA press release, about 350,000 Americans each year experience sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital. Their chances of survival decrease about 10 percent for every minute they go without CPR, which means that a population of trained bystanders could go a long way towards improving survival rates nationwide.

“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,” said the bill’s author and Assemblyman Rodriguez (D-Pomona). “By teaching CPR in high school, we are sending students into the world with essential, life-saving skills.”

In addition to bipartisan support in the state legislature, AB1719 has been endorsed by members of AHA, the American Red Cross, the California Professional Firefighters, the California State Parent Teacher Association, the California School Boards Association, California School Employees Association, and other health, education and labor groups.

For more information on Hands-Only CPR in California’s high schools, click here.