For the past four years, we have attempted to pass CPR as a high school graduation requirement in Florida.
This year, Sen. Thad Altman once again sponsored our language in the Senate and we were fortunate enough to have Rep. Chris Sprowls, Republican from Clearwater, champion our efforts in the House. While we had Republican sponsors this year, we heard the same argument as in years past; the chair of the Senate Education Committee, Sen. John Legg, refused to hear our bill in his committee because he does not want to put this mandate on the schools. As such, both bills died in the first committee of reference.
We also asked the state to invest $400,000 of CPR training materials for the schools to create new CPR programs or replace old equipment as needed. We received a budget appropriation of $200,000 from the state in the final budget proposal that was sent to the governor, but he vetoed the line item for the appropriation.
We will continue to advocate for CPR in Schools, in order to add thousands of lifesavers to our communities. Right now, nine out of 10 people who suffer from cardiac arrest outside a hospital die, but survival rates could be improved dramatically with more CPR training and other strategies, according to a new report by the Institute of Medicine.
Read more about the report at heart.org.