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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: March 5, 2021 12:54 PM
From: Representative Scott Conklin
To: All House members
Subject: Schools that Save Lives!
Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), First Aid and Automated External Defibrillator usage (AED) save lives. It is a skill that anyone can learn and everyone should know. Sadly, many will never learn it because it is not always offered in a work environment or as a part of a school’s curriculum. Currently, Pennsylvania schools are only required to offer CPR/First Aid/AED training as an option to employees once every three years, leaving the majority of those in the school system ill-equipped to deal with any potentially life-threatening event or emergency. It is for this reason that I am proposing that schools provide employees, volunteers and students training on the principals and techniques of CPR/First Aid and the use of an AED machine.

Training in these life-saving techniques and equipment can be the difference between life and death. Increasingly there are more and more reports of students dying on training fields, and the American Heart Association reports that at least 383,000 cardiac arrests happen every year with 88 percent of these incidents occurring in environments where victims are not surrounded by trained healthcare personnel who could potentially save their life.

This is why it is imperative that we as Pennsylvanians act now and put the necessary measures in place to require schools to offer CPR and First Aid instruction to students, school employees, athletic coaches and trainers. My proposal would require schools to provide CPR and first aid instruction to school volunteers no less than every three years. Additionally, this legislation would increase the number of staff required to be certified in the operation of an AED from one to four people.

It is important that students preparing to move on from secondary school be properly trained in CPR and First aid. Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year and each school year thereafter, this legislation would require every secondary public or private school in the commonwealth to provide students with training, testing and certification on the principles and techniques of CPR and First Aid. Student training and certification in CPR and First Aid would be required component for a student’s successful graduation from high school. Over the past few years 27 states have enacted laws that require high school students to become certified in CPR and First Aid as a graduation requirement.

Life is characterized by precarious twist and turns, and risky conditions emerge when we least expect it. People suffer from heart attacks, loss of consciousness, severe wounds, surface injuries, burns, strokes, drownings, and much more. The only way to be prepared for situations such as these is to create a well informed and trained community that is prepared from a young age to act when these emergency situations occur.

Put simply, the life that is most likely to be saved by CPR and First aid could be yours or someone you love. Let’s work together to save lives!
This legislation was previously introduced as House Bill 818 of the 2019-2020 legislative session.