CPR could become course requirement in Miss. schools - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

CPR could become course requirement in MS schools

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Your kids could have a course to add to the list of graduation requirements next year. It's a hands on class that could save a life.

It can take 8-10 minutes for an ambulance to arrive on the scene of an emergency. First responders say they need help.

"Brain death occurs in 3 to 7 minutes," explained Lisa Garforth, Madison Fire Department's Community Educator. "So someone has got to be there."

That's where Mississippi high school students may be able to step in as a link in what emergency responders call the chain of survival.

"Kids are impulsive," Garforth said. "They don't over think things like we do and they're going to be right there Johnny on the spot."

A CPR education bill has passed the House and Senate and is on its way to Governor Bryant to be signed into law.

"Other states have this mandated and the results are phenomenal as far as these kids are actually saving lives," Garforth explained.

Lisa Garforth has already started training in Madison area schools. She says the steps are pretty basic.

A lot of folks may be uncomfortable with the idea of giving mouth to mouth to someone, even in an emergency situation. But with the new standards, they say that even just chest compressions until an ambulance could get there, could save someone's life.

Students would also learn how to use a defibrillator. The American Heart Association has been giving their best sales pitch on the need for the training.

"Would you know what to do if a friend or family or just someone in the community went into sudden cardiac arrest?" asked Katherine Bryant, Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association.

If signed, the bill would require the training be done for grades 9-12 during physical education classes, making it a graduation requirement.

"We're here to save lives and that's exactly what this bill has the possibility of doing," said Bryant.

If signed by the Governor, the law would take effect July 1. The law would require students to get basic CPR training. Whether they do a full certification class will be up to the districts.

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