AZ bill would require CPR training in schoolsPosted: Updated:
If a state bill gets signed into law, all publicly-educated Arizona school kids would be required to learn hands-only CPR.
Although some schools already teach CPR in their curriculum, the measure would make it mandatory for students to learn hands-only CPR. It's quick and easy to teach, according to American Heart Association spokesperson Nicole Olmstead.
One Valley mom supports the bill, saying that her 9-year-old might be alive today if someone had known CPR.
Jonathan Wenhold was jumping rope during gym class in October 2004.
"We know that he sat down next to his friend Max and said, 'I jumped 77 times' and then he collapsed into Max's lap," said his mom Michelle Wenhold.
She said Jonathan lived for eight days and then died from a heart complication they did not know he had. His mom believes if those around him were more properly trained in CPR, her son may be alive today.
"I know definitely that he got it [CPR] once EMS was there, I think he got it prior to that," Michelle Wenhold said.
There is a sudden cardiac arrest every two minutes, according to Olmstead. That translates into roughly 400,000 people every year in the U.S. who are impacted - and many die.
SB 1337 would require every student in a public or charter school to learn hands-only CPR one time between grades seven through 12.
"It takes 30 minutes to learn how to do hands-only CPR," said Olmstead.
She said hands-only CPR would not require extra funding because free tutorials are easy to find and you don't need a certified instructor to teach it.
"It would be up to the school districts to determine where, which class, whether they wanted to do it as an assembly," said Olmstead.
"No family should have to be told 'we didn't know what to do,' it should always be 'we did everything that we could,'" said Wenhold.
This bill would not require kids to perform CPR, it would only require them to learn it, according to Olmstead.
CBS 5 News attorneys said the bill would not change any liability issues for students or schools. They also said that it is not required that a school have a certified CPR staff member on campus.
State School Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal opposes the bill.
A statement sent from the Department of Education said:
"Superintendent Huppenthal is on record opposing the bill because it mandates that school districts require this training. Chris Kotterman, our deputy director of policy development and government relations, testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee and indicated that if we can work out an amendment to address those concerns, the superintendent would be happy to change his position."
The bill passed the state Senate last week and is now waiting for a hearing in the House Education Committee.
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