AEDs are not currently required in Pennsylvania schools, and coaches are not required to be certified in CPR. Yet Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the number one cause of death among teen athletes, and immediate response using CPR and an AED gives a victim a 90% chance of survival.
This week, our foundation announced legislation to make our schools safer for students. Senator Katie Muth, former athletic director and fearless champion of these efforts, introduced SB512 to require AEDs and emergency action plans in all schools, and SB513 to ensure that coaches are certified in CPR. These legislative efforts, supported by Senator Carolyn Comitta and 18 other co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle, are bolstered by companion legislation soon to be introduced in the House by co-prime sponsors Representative Christina Sappey and Representative Danielle Friel Otten.
We all watched on national TV as NFL football player Damar Hamlin collapsed when his heart stopped. We saw in real-time that the immediate response of CPR and using an AED saved his life. Our kids deserve the same standards of safety as our professional athletes.
We are grateful to our local legislators for taking action to ensure that our students are safe while they learn and play on school grounds. Please support our efforts in the coming weeks and months so that we can begin our next school year with peace of mind and know that our children are safe at school.