After years of hard work by You’re the Cure advocates and American Heart Association (AHA) volunteers, the District of Columbia is on the verge of joining 34 other states by ensuring all students receive hands-only CPR training in high school!
On May 31, the DC Council unanimously approved the 2017 budget, which includes $325,000 to purchase and maintain AEDs in all District Schools. On June 21, the Council completed the budget process by unanimously approving the 2017 Budget Support Act, which requires hands-only CPR training in high school; AEDs in all schools; and strengthens CPR training for DC governmental and school personnel. The bill now awaits Mayor Bowser’s signature, and then requires Congressional approval to become law in Washington, DC.
Physician and You’re the Cure Advocate Dr. Richard Benson says: “This is terrific news and a huge step forward in preparing our community to respond to cardiac arrest emergencies. Many lives will be saved.”
AHA’s CPR in Schools campaign in the District has been successful because of the tireless work of passionate You’re the Cure advocates who told their very personal stories, participated in hands-only CPR trainings, and contacted their Councilmembers, expressing how important teaching CPR in schools was to them, and how many lives could be saved.
AHA also appreciates the leadership and support from Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, who championed this initiative in the Council and organized hands-only CPR trainings for legislative staff.
Although this policy will not become official law unless the US Congress approves it later this year, the District is well on its way to furthering a culture of health by ensuring that all students and thousands of residents are trained to save a life with hands-only CPR!
<Thanks to AHA You're the Cure intern Spencer Davis for development of this blog post>