Providence – The governor has signed into law legislation recently approved by the General Assembly that will require high school seniors to be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) in order to graduate.
Under current law, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is required to write guidelines for student training in CPR, and local school districts are required to incorporate this training into existing health education classes.
Under the newly-enacted law, the training will need to include a hands-on course in CPR and an overview of AED use. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will also be empowered to monitor this training so that all Rhode Island students could be proficient.
A study in the journal Critical Care found that students as young as nine years old were successfully able to learn first aid skills such as emergency calling and AED deployment. Of 147 students studied between nine and 18 years old, 86 percent performed CPR successfully. According to the American Safety and Health Institute, 36 states require CPR training for graduation.
Signed by Gov. Lincoln Chafee were House bill (2013-H5376), sponsored by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), and Senate bill (2013-S0318), introduced by Sen. James E. Doyle II (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket).
With the governor’s signature, the law takes immediate effect.
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