Tenn. mother fights for AEDs in schools after son’s death
Rhonda Harrill teamed up with Rep. Bob Ramsay and AMR to get a bill passed that requires all Tennessee public high schools to have AEDs
By EMS1 Staff
MARYVILLE, Tenn. — A mother’s fight to increase the amount of AEDs in public schools has resulted in changed legislation.
WBIR reported that Rhonda Harrill teamed up with Rep. Bob Ramsay and AMR to get a bill passed that requires all Tennessee public high schools to have AEDs after her son, Tanner Jameson, died of cardiac arrest while playing in a middle school basketball game.
“He never got to drive, he never got married, I’ll never see him have kids, and it’s painful to think that little device could have saved him," Harrill said.
At the time of his death, the only AED around was inaccessible in another part of the school.
Effective July 1, all Tennessee public high schools will be required to have an AED in or near their gyms, thanks to Senate Bill 410. The bill will also help pay for the AEDs if a school cannot afford one.
Sevier County Public Schools assistant superintendent Debra Cline said the school district has had AEDs in their schools for 10 years, and while they have never had to use them, the district consistently ensures that they are in working order.
"One hundred percent of our schools have AEDs and some buildings have more than one," Cline said. “We’ve never used an AED, but we’re ready to if it’s needed.”