The American Heart Association and American Red Cross have teamed up with the state Legislature to add CPR classes to every school with ninth through 12th grades.
Third- and fourth-grade students Rocky Hurt and Ethan Wilson, both of Marietta, coached their neighbor through CPR steps last week to help save an 11-week-old baby who stopped breathing.
“That incident is a great example of what we’re trying to do,” said American Heart Association Governmental Relations executive Chastity Mitchell. “Provide the basic knowledge to be able to react the way the boys did and save lives.”
Senate Bill 212 passed through the full Senate last week and the House Education Committee on Wednesday. It will hit the House floor later this week, according to American Heart Association representative Darrya Lipscomb.
Georgia would be the seventh state to adopt the requirements.
The schools would be required to teach students, through either physical education or health classes, how to resuscitate someone and use a defibrillator. The American Heart Association and American Red Cross would develop the lessons, Lipscomb said.
“What’s great about the Georgia Legislature is there’s already time set aside for health and physical education classes, and the law dedicates those classes for the CPR training,” Mitchell said.
Because the proposed classes don’t result in certifications, it wouldn’t be any additional cost for the schools or taxpayers, Mitchell said. The goal is to create community partnerships with local firefighters and EMTs for hands-on training.