The American Red Cross is proud to support AB 1719. A bill introduced by Assembly member Freddie Rodriguez in early January 2016. The legislation would ensure high school students learn CPR before they graduate high school. AB 1719 holds the power to create a generation of lifesavers.
“CPR is one of the most important life skills a person can have. I have been an Emergency Medical Technician for over 30 years and I have seen too many cases that could have turned out differently if a bystander had known how to administer CPR,” said Assemblymember Rodriguez. “By teaching CPR in high school, we are sending students into the world with an essential, life-saving skill. We have the ability to dramatically impact the rates of survival for sudden cardiac arrest and save countless lives.”
Under AB 1719, school districts would have the flexibility to teach hands-only CPR in any required class, such as P.E. or Health. The bill is co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and American Red Cross who have led the effort to pass similar legislation in 27 other states.
“Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the United States yet too few people know how to perform CPR,” says Gary Strong, CEO of the American Red Cross Gold Country Region. “Our lawmakers have a bill before them that could create a generation of lifesavers by requiring hands-on CPR training before high school graduation. We support AB 1719 as it will better prepare our students; therefore, build prepared communities.”
“The American Heart Association’s and the American Red Cross’ goal is to teach lifesaving CPR skills to as many teens and young adults as possible in California to help keep our communities safer, year after year,” said Dr. Franklin Pratt, former medical director of the Los Angeles County Fire “Having a new generation of lifesavers will deliver an increased amount of safety and security to all of our communities.”
The Los Angeles County Fire Department believes so strongly in the effectiveness of teaching CPR to our youth that they trained 9,000 students last year using the American Heart Association’s CPR Anytime program.
According to the American Red Cross, sudden cardiac arrest is one of the most lethal public health threats in the United States. Nearly 326,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside the hospital each year, and sadly, only 10 percent survive. Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival, but only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander.