As Pa. lawmakers try to make CPR training mandatory, Philly schools get a head start

Mike DeNardo
November 19, 2018 - 1:45 pm
The School District of Philadelphia accepted the donation of 13 CPR education kits from the American Heart Association.

Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia high school students are learning the life-saving skill of CPR, while the state considers making it mandatory.  

The American Heart Association has just given the School District of Philadelphia 13 CPR education kits.

District athletic director Jimmy Lynch outlined what's in them. 

"You have DVDs. You have pieces of equipment that are kind of blow-up mannequins. And then you have a curriculum," he said.

A bill in the state Senate Education Committee would require Pennsylvania high schools to offer CPR training, but Lynch said the district was already making progress toward teaching CPR to more students.

"The state is considering that legislation, but we've been going onto this project for quite some time now. This isn't the first year we've had kits donated and it isn't the first year we've been kind of putting the focus on AEDs in our schools. So whatever happens with the legislation, we'll be ready," he said.

The executive director of the AHA in Philadelphia, Jennifer Davis, says her group is lobbying for a bill currently in the state senate education committee that would require CPR training in schools.

"That is a graduation requirement in 38 states," Davis said. "We hope Pennslvania will be 39. But all of our bordering states have passed that legislation."

Lynch says the district has been establishing CPR training in its schools, regardless of whether the legislation is passed.