JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed a bill into law on Tuesday that made Missouri the 34th state to require CPR training for high school students.
Nixon signed the measure, Senate Bill 711 (SB 711), which would require schools to administer CPR instruction to students as part of high school graduation requirements.
According to the American Heart Association, four of every five out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in private or residential settings. Of the people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, almost 90 percent die.
"CPR training in schools strengthens the cardiac chain of survival by equipping thousands of civilian bystanders to be ready to respond in an emergency," said Jace Smith, Senior Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association in Missouri. "Many lives will be saved because of this legislation."
Representative Ron Hicks, who sponsored an identical House bill of SB 711, also shared Smith's sentiments and vowed to see the law passed during his time of public service.
"I have two children and know that children are our future," said Rep. Hicks. "This legislation provides an opportunity to do something very special: to equip students with a tool that protects life and impacts generations to come."
Students will learn the technique through a physical education or health class. However, the law does not require students to become CPR certified, nor will it be a pass/fail training. More than 60,000 Missouri students are expected to participate when the law goes into effect during the 2017-2018 school year.