Schuitmaker CPR bill receives final approval

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LANSING, Mich. — Legislation championed by state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker ensuring that schools offer instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was recently signed into law by Lt. Governor Brian Calley.

Schuitmaker’s bill would add CPR instruction and AED training to the existing health education content standards.

“This is already a common practice throughout many school districts across the state,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “Teaching this lifesaving skill takes very little time and can be easily incorporated into the existing health class or physical education curriculums.”

Schuitmaker noted that most districts are able to offer these programs with little to no cost by using volunteer services from local police, firefighters and paramedics and that only a positive change can come from this.

“When cardiac arrest happens, you have very little time to respond before the effects become permanent or even fatal,” Schuitmaker said. “Adding more and more trained bystanders to our communities each year increases the chance of having someone present who can perform lifesaving measures until professional help arrives.”

Now that the bill has been signed, Michigan joins more than half of the country in requiring CPR instruction be taught in school.

“I introduced the bill toward the end 2015 and through a lot of hard work and collaboration with medical and emergency response professionals, along with representatives from the American Heart Association and my colleagues in the Legislature, we were able to get this to the governor’s desk for approval.” Schuitmaker said.

The bill is now Public Act 388 of 2016. It was signed into law on Dec. 28 and will take effect at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.

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Editor’s note: A print-quality version of the above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting the senator’s website at: www.SenatorTonyaSchuitmaker.com/photowire.

Photo caption: Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker, R-Lawton, was joined by representatives from the American Heart Association, doctors, EMTs, other medical professionals from around the state, and Bishop Edgar Vann as Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signed Senate Bill 647 into law. Vann was saved by a CPR-trained bystander after suffering cardiac arrest one year ago at a New Year’s Eve church service.