Regents put CPR in Schools one step closer to reality

Volunteers learn Hands-Only CPR during #CPRinSchools Lobby Day in 2014

The New York state Board of Regents today recommended that Hands-Only CPR and AED use become part of the New York state curriculum.

“I’m so happy that I want to cry,” said Karen Acompora of Northport, whose son Louis was 14 when he died of sudden cardiac arrest. Acompora was the driving force behind Louis’ Law, which put AEDs into all of New York’s schools. “This is another chapter in Louis’ legacy. It’s an opportunity for the people of New York to save more lives. It’s been a collective effort by many across the state. Thank you, Regents.”

The CPR in Schools law that Gov. Cuomo signed in October called on the state Department of Education to issue a report with a recommendation to the Regents about including Hands-Only CPR in the curriculum. While the report stated that curriculum matters should remain the choice of local school districts, since CPR is a matter of life or death, it is an important exception to the local option.

Now that the Regents have recommended that New York schools teach Hands-Only CPR and AED use, State Ed will present regulations to the board at the May 18 and 19 meetings. The regulations will be open for public comment prior to formal adoption.

“This is good news today,” said Bob Elling, paramedic with the Town of Colonie and chair of the New York State Advocacy Committee of the American Heart Association. “Survivors of sudden cardiac arrest and people who lost loved ones to sudden cardiac arrest have worked for years to see CPR taught in New York’s schools. We all thank the Regents for their action, and hope they will continue to act swiftly to make CPR in Schools a reality.”

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