American Heart Association Joins Council Member Stephen Levin Calling on State Legislature to Pass Life-Saving Legislation

Applauds NYPD for CPR-AED Training

Melinda Murray (2) “On behalf of the American Heart Association, I am thrilled that our City’s law enforcement has been successfully certified in CPR and AED utilization and call on the state legislature to pass Briana’s Law this session,” stated Melinda Murray, member of the NYC Advocacy Committee for the American Heart Association. “I lost my only child, my son Dominic, to cardiac arrest when he was just 17 years old. Our hearts beat in unity for our children who were taken far too soon and we look forward to the day the Ojeda family finally secures the passage of Briana’s Law. We call upon the State Senate to follow the Assembly’s lead and help us make sure no more families experience this tragedy.”

Council Member Stephen Levin also applauds the New York City Police Department for its commitment to life-saving training for first responders and calls on the state legislature to pass Briana’s Law, a bill that would require police officers to be re-trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation every two years and demonstrate satisfactory completion of such training. The NYPD recently issued its first annual report on the number of first responders training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED), detailing that all Uniformed Members of the Service and most school safety agents have been trained or re-trained.

While New York City has excelled in ensuring uniformed officers and school safety agents are appropriately trained in life-saving skills, for four years the state legislature has failed to pass a bipartisan bill that would require this critical training for officers across the state.

“Albany is long overdue in ensuring that first responders throughout the state receive the highest quality training in life-saving CPR and AED skills,” said Council Member Levin. “This is a commonsense measure that would help to improve the chance of survival for victims of cardiac arrest. I applaud the NYPD for making sure that uniformed officers and school safety agents are well-equipped to react with speed and skill so that they can continue to protect and serve New Yorkers. It’s time for the state legislature to prioritize saving lives by passing this cost-effective bill.”

Council Member Levin’s appeal echoes that of the full New York City Council, which last year adopted Resolution 1181, calling on the state legislature to pass and the Governor to sign Briana’s Law.

Council Member Levin is dedicated to working with State leaders to move this much-delayed bill forward. The Assembly sponsor, Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz said, “Police officers most often respond to medical emergencies. My bill would ensure that officers are retrained every two years so they’ll have CPR skills and can respond to people in need and prevent future Briana Ojeda tragedies. No family should have to suffer the loss of a child or loved one because of inadequate training. I continue to work with Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, Senator Jesse Hamilton, the American Heart Association and the New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association to ensure passage in the Senate. No dollar amount equates to saving a human life.”

In January 2016, the NYPD instituted a new basic life support curriculum, which includes such training as infant and adult CPR, AED use, overdose treatment, and hemorrhage control. Introduction 83, which was sponsored by Council Member Levin and enacted in November 2016, requires the NYPD to publish an annual report on the number of officers and school safety agents who receive certification to ensure this critical training is ongoing.

The NYPD reports that 1,882 officers have been newly trained and 6,117 have been re-trained. Nearly all school safety agents have been certified, including 496 new trainings and 2,354 re-trainings. However, it is critical that that remaining 210 School Safety Agents be trained to ensure the safety of our children.


Council Member Levin introduced the legislation that generated this report in honor of 11-year-old Briana Ojeda, who passed away after suffering an asthma attack near her home in Brooklyn. The police officer who accompanied Briana to the hospital did not perform potentially life-saving CPR because he said he did not feel qualified to do so. In September, Briana would have celebrated her eighteenth birthday.

You can help us by calling your state representatives and urging them to support the passage of Briana’s law.

You don’t have to be a lobbyist to call on lawmakers – just an advocate passionate about heart and stroke issues. In just a few moments, you can make a huge difference. If you’re interested in supporting issues critical to the health and well-being of New Yorkers, why not join You’re The Cure? We’ll make it easy for you to email, phone or even visit your legislators. And we’ll keep you informed on the progress you’re making as one of the very important voices for the cure. Together You’re the Cure advocates have succeeded in creating smoke-free communities, placing AEDs in public places, securing funding for medical research, and more through policy change.

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