MARQUETTE, MI - The American Heart Association, Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker and Rep. Thomas Hooker today officially launched the CPR in Schools campaign to ensure that all Michigan students learn the life-saving skill of CPR.
“I’m proud to take part in this campaign to bring more lifesavers into our communities,” Sen. Schuitmaker said. “Everyone should learn CPR, and our schools are the ideal places to teach it.”
Nearly 357,000 people have cardiac arrest outside of a hospital every year, and only 8 percent survive. CPR can nearly triple survival rates for cardiac arrest by providing assistance until the EMTs arrive. If a victim doesn’t get help within the first three to five minutes, brain damage may begin to occur. That’s why bystander CPR is so critical.
“As a former teacher and coach for 37 years, I’m proud to sponsor this legislation because CPR saves lives,” Rep. Hooker said. “If every high school student in Michigan learned CPR before graduation, we could add 100,000 more qualified lifesavers in our state each year.”
Rep. Hooker and Sen. Schuitmaker are sponsoring HB 5160 and SB 647 to make that a reality. Twenty-seven states across the country have already passed similar laws to ensure that every high school student is CPR-trained before graduation, and it’s saving lives. Cardiac arrest survival rates have multiplied in the states and communities in which students are taught CPR.
“As a pediatric cardiologist, I’ve seen firsthand how CPR can make a huge difference — and all you need is your hands,” said Monica Goble, who is the chairperson of AHA’s state advocacy committee. “Even kids have the ability to perform it correctly, if they’re taught, and that’s why AHA is backing this legislation.”
“I learned CPR for a merit badge for Boy Scouts in sixth grade, and I never thought I’d have to use it,” said Tyler Menhart, a Northview High School student who saved the life of a teammate who had a cardiac arrest during soccer practice last May.
Amy Fowler’s son, Chris, was at football practice when he had a sudden cardiac arrest.
“I will never forget seeing my son, Chris, lying on the ground while the coaches took turns performing CPR,” said Fowler. “Chris got lucky; I can’t even imagine what might have happened if someone hadn’t known CPR. That’s why this legislation needs to pass.”
The legislation is support by the American Heart Association, Michigan State Medical Society, Michigan College of Emergency Physicians, Michigan Fraternal Order of Police and more. Learn more at www.heart.org/CPRmi.