Acting Governor Kim Guadagno signed legislation, A-2072/S-235 (Fuentes/Allen), August 20, requiring schools to provide training on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) to high school students beginning with this year’s incoming freshman class.
Specifically, the legislation requires that the hands-on training be provided as part of the district’s implementation of the Core Curriculum Content Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. The instruction should be modeled on an instructional program established by the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, or other nationally-recognized association with expertise in instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator. The training must include a hands-on learning component for each participating student.
According to statistics provided by the American Heart Association, nearly 424,000 people suffer cardiac arrest outside of the hospital each year, and less than 11% of them survive. CPR and defibrillation are the only way to revive a cardiac arrest victim, and survival rates can double or triple if CPR is administered in the first few minutes after cardiac arrest. With every minute that passes, there is a 10% reduction in survival rates.
NJPSA worked with the sponsors to ensure that districts have proper time to implement the legislation before its effective date and also successfully sought an amendment to ensure that a district requirement would not disadvantage a student’s ability to graduate should a student not complete the training. NJPSA supported the measure as amended.
The bill was signed at Burlington Township Middle School, where, in June, a collapsed student was revived by staff members trained in both CPR and AED use. It is effective immediately.