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Senate adopts Downing's bill requiring CPR certification for public school athletic coaches
February 21, 2012

Boston – State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield) announces that his legislation requiring athletic coaches employed by public school districts to hold a current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was adopted by the Massachusetts Senate during this morning’s informal session. 
 
“CPR is our leading defense against sudden cardiac arrest,” said Downing. “Bystander CPR can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival. Therefore, ensuring that coaches are properly trained to administer CPR in the event of an emergency is a smart precaution for the 200,000 plus student athletes in Massachusetts.”
 
S. 2109, An Act relative to CPR certification for athletic coaches, was reviewed and endorsed by both the Joint Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Ways and Means before today’s engrossment. Downing co-sponsored similar legislation in 2009; however, this year’s version takes into account the previous concerns of public school districts by ensuring the districts are not responsible for costs associated with CPR certification.
 
According to the American Heart/Stroke Association, nationwide, approximately 450 people a day suffer from sudden cardiac arrest. Ninety-two percent of these victims die before they reach a hospital because there are not enough people trained to administer CPR before paramedics arrive.  CPR keeps blood flowing to the brain until help arrives, increasing a victim’s chance of survival.
 
This legislation enjoys the strong support of the American Heart/Stroke Association and Parent Heart Watch.
 
“By teaching coaches to call 911, perform CPR and use an AED if one is available, we can save lives on our athletic fields and in our gyms,” said Allyson Perron, Senior Government Relations Director, American Heart/Stroke Association. “We applaud Senator Downing and the Senate for advancing this life-saving legislation.”
 
The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. 
 
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