More progress has been made to create the next generation of lifesavers, as Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed legislation making the Lone Star State the 11th– and the largest – to make CPR education a requirement to graduate high school. The law goes into effect for the Class of 2015.
This is quite a milestone because of the sheer numbers involved. Texans comprise 9 percent of all high school graduates in the country, or 264,275 students per year. That means that by 2020 there will be well more than a million more Americans equipped with this lifesaving knowledge from Texas alone.
Of course, there will be many more CPR trainees from the other states that preceded Texas in passing this legislation. Those states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont and Washington.
It’s also worth noting how this legislation is building momentum across the country. Alabama and Iowa enacted legislation prior to 2011. Three states followed in the 2011-12 fiscal year, and Texas becomes the sixth state this fiscal year. Is your state not on the list? Make sure to show your support and sign the pledge at www.BeCPRSmart.org.
CPR in schools can make a difference in real, powerful ways. Just ask Lori Dolan. Her teenage daughter, Lindsay, saved her life by using the training she received her freshman year of high school.
More stories like this are being told through June as part of National CPR Awareness Month. This includes continued promotion of Hands-Only CPR, which teaches that anyone can be a lifesaver by knowing just two things to do if you see an adult collapse: Call 9-1-1, then push hard and fast at the center of the patient’s chest, preferably to the beat of the disco classic “Stayin’ Alive.”