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AEDs will save lives, once placed in schools

Most readers probably don’t recall what was in House Bills 5527 and 5528, passed by the State Legislature and signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

House Bill 5527 amends the Fire Prevention Code to modify the requirements regarding the implementation of a cardiac emergency response plan for the governing body of a school.

House Bill 5528 amends the Revised School Code to require any individual that serves as an athletic coach at a high school–public or private–to maintain a valid certification in CPR and use of an automatic external defibrillator. This certification must be issued by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or a comparable organization or institution approved by the Department of Education.

The impact of these laws, which enjoyed bi-partisan support, was seen recently at Wedtwood High School when state Rep. Jenn Hill, D-Marquette, delivered an an AED to the school administration.

“To have this preventative kind of care is so essential,” Hill said. “I’m really proud that we could partner with the NFL Foundation and, in addition, Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills player who had a heart attack on the field.”

In observance of the new laws, the NFL donated 50 AEDs for Michigan legislators to distribute.

“We’re very happy to have this portable AED device available to our kids and our staff and any visitors that come,” said NICE Community Schools Superintendent Bryan DeAugustine. “It’ll be great to have one outside at different athletic events or if we have an event that happens outside the buildings. Then, if something were to go wrong, we wouldn’t have to run in and grab the one we have inside.”

Here’s an appalling statistic: each year, some 2,000 people up to the age of 25 experience sudden cardiac arrest, said Hill.

Having an AED on hand could mean the difference between life and death.

“Having these devices available immediately within five minutes is going to help save people’s lives,” she said.

It goes without saying that we support these laws and believe, going forward, that lives will be saved as a result of their passage.

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