(SACRAMENTO) – In a sweeping vote, the State Assembly approved lifesaving legislation by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona). Assembly Bill 1719 seeks to ensure that every high school student learns CPR.
According to the American Heart Association, 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.
“This bill will arm students with the tools to make change,” said Rodriguez. “Learning CPR will empower young people to take action when a medical emergency happens no matter where they are.”
Under AB 1719, school districts will be required to teach hands-only CPR in any required high school course, 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 32 other states.
“The American Heart Association’s 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 Department and volunteer spokesperson for the American Heart Association. “Having a new generation of lifesavers will deliver an increased amount of safety and security to all of our communities.”
“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 bill now goes to the State Senate for consideration.
Assemblymember Rodriguez is Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Local Emergency Preparedness, and Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management. He represents the 52nd Assembly District which includes the cities of Chino, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona and portions of unincorporated Fontana