South Dakota will soon join the growing list of states who are training the next generation of life-savers! In South Dakota, that means 11,000 new life-savers in our communities each and every year.
SB 145, the CPR in Schools bill, has had an interesting journey through the legislative process. In its first hearing, we encountered some opposition in spite of compelling testimony from our advocates. We were tasked to collaborate with all interested parties to find language that was agreeable to everyone. Once amended, the bill was approved unanimously in both the Senate and the House. The bill now awaits Governor Daugaard’s signature.
Support for SB 145 was bolstered in its journey by Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 7 which expressed support that all South Dakota high school students learn and practice the basic skills of hands-only CPR prior to graduation.
SB 145 directs the Department of Education to recommend that CPR be included within school health curriculum and to provide school districts with resources and training to assist our schools with CPR instruction and use of the automated external defibrillator (AED).
This success would not have been possible without the support of our advocates across South Dakota. Many of our volunteers reached out personally to lawmakers asking them to sponsor or support SB 145. Several of our advocates made the trip to Pierre – some twice – to testify in support of SB 145. Across South Dakota, our advocates and volunteers made it clear to lawmakers that this bill would translate to lives saved in South Dakota.
Even with the governor’s signature on SB 145, our work is not done. Our next step is to work with the Department of Education to help them implement CPR training in our schools, and to help identify resources to ensure schools have what they need to training students in this life-saving skill.