Sacramento, CA (Saturday, September 24, 2016) — California is poised to create a new generation of lifesavers, thanks to Assembly Bill 1719 by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona). Today Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation, which will require high school districts to include CPR instruction in health education classes required for graduation.
The bill was co-sponsored by the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association who have led the effort to pass similar legislation in 34 other states. AB 1719 received bipartisan support in both the Senate and Assembly.
“We want to express our gratitude to Governor Brown for signing this bill, which will literally put lifesaving skills into the hands of California students before they leave high school,” said Gary Strong, CEO of the American Red Cross Gold Country Region. “They will carry these skills into colleges and workplaces, homes and playing fields, making our community more prepared than ever before to respond to cardiac arrest in the critical moments before help arrives.”
According to the American Heart Association, nearly 326,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside the hospital each year, and sadly, only 10 percent survive. Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.
“After two years of hard work, I’m thrilled that this bill will now become law,” said Rodriguez. “I am tremendously grateful to Governor Brown for his support of CPR education. Knowing how to perform CPR will empower students to act in an emergency and it may even inspire them to pursue careers in healthcare.”
Strong also thanked Assemblymember Rodriguez for authoring the legislation. “With AB 1719, Assemblymember Rodriguez has set in motion a new educational component that will have an impact for generations,” he said.
Instruction in CPR will begin in the 2017-2018 school year.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.
The Gold Country Region serves a twenty-four county territory including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba counties.
For more information, please visit redcross.org/GoldCountry or cruzrojaamericana.org. Stay up to date by following us on Twitter (@RCSierraDelta or join the conversation on Facebook’s Sierra-Delta Chapter.