State Senate Passes Bill to Ensure Teens Learn CPR

The state Senate voted to pass SB 412 on February 16, ensuring all youth in Wisconsin learn basic, compression-only CPR before they graduate high school. The bill passed the Assembly last week, and now it’s onto the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

“We are absolutely elated with the vote,” stated Damond Boatwright, chair of the American Heart Association’s Madison board and Regional President of Hospital Operations at SSM Health. “Immediate CPR, which can easily be taught to Wisconsin’s youth, can literally mean the difference between life and death. With this vote in the Senate we empower our youth to save lives.”

SB 412 will substantially increase the number of CPR-trained individuals in Wisconsin communities by incorporating basic, compression-only CPR training into the school curriculum. The training can be done in 30 minutes, and several Wisconsin schools already have model programs in place. To help with implementation, many community partners are willing to help schools in their local communities do the training.

“The passage of this bill didn’t happen without the hard work and support of dozens of groups and associations throughout Wisconsin,” stated Boatwright. “Every group involved in the support of this bill understands the importance of providing training to students.  We are truly thankful for their support.”

“But first and foremost we need to extend our gratitude and appreciation to Senator Petrowski and State Representative Spiros for taking the lead and authoring this bill,” added Boatwright. “Without their leadership none of this would have happened.”

Wisconsin is not alone in its efforts to train youth in CPR. To date 27 states have passed similar requirements, adding thousands of lifesavers to their communities each year.

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