Soon, our beloved high school seniors will don their caps and gowns, adjust their tassels just so, and smile for photos with family and friends. After graduation, they’ll go off into the world well-prepared, a new generation of workers, leaders—and lifesavers.
This year’s Class of 2016 is the first high school student class in New York State to have received Hands-Only CPR training as a result of the CPR in Schools Law, which went into effect this school year. The American Heart Association’s You’re the Cure grassroots volunteers helped make New York the 26th out of 32 states in the U.S. to pass this lifesaving legislation. Now, approximately 61 percent of the nation’s public high school graduates will be trained in CPR annually, including more than 190,000 high school graduates right here in New York State.
Think about next year and every year after, how many more students will learn this lifesaving skill, which is imperative to save a life from sudden cardiac arrest—when the heart rhythm suddenly stops or becomes irregular, causing death within minutes. Over the years, the impact on survival from this leading cause of death in our community will be dramatic.
When you think about all the things a student can learn throughout their education, CPR skills are certainly one of the most important—and one of the easiest to learn. It’s a skill that will stay with them wherever they go. If an emergency arises, they’ll have the knowledge and skills to help save a life.
Thanks to all the volunteer advocates who, for over 15 years, committed time and effort, making phone calls, sending emails, and visiting Albany for Lobby Day events to help pass this law. Thanks to the legislators for their leadership. Thanks to all the school leaders who provided resources to make this education possible. And thanks to the teachers who taught and to the students who learned Hands-Only CPR.
They started with ABC’s and finished with CPR. Three little letters can make all the difference.
Congratulations Class of 2016!