Cumberland Times-News

April 24, 2014

Life-saving law

High school students will learn CPR, how to use defibrillators

Cumberland Times-News

— Not many pieces of legislation to come out of Annapolis can be described as a matter of life or death. But the CPR law signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley is just that.

Known as Brenna’s Law, the legislation requires that all Maryland high schoolers will be required to complete CPR training as part of the graduation requirement.

Brenna’s Law is named for a Perry Hall teenager who collapsed during a field hockey game at her school. A bystander performed CPR and saved her life. In Virgina, lawmakers also passed a CPR law for students after a 12-year-old girl died at her school because no one knew how to perform CPR.

Under Maryland’s new law, students also will be trained to use automated external defibrillators.

Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, public school students will be required to complete the CPR training as part of the health or physical education curriculum.

When lawmakers were debating the legislation earlier this year, Del. Jon S. Cardin (D-Baltimore County), one of the primary sponsors, said: “CPR and AEDs save lives. Every year, thousands of people’s lives are saved by CPR or an AED. The more people we have trained, the more lives we will save. Giving young people life-saving training should be a no-brainer for the General Assembly.”

If even one life is saved because of CPR or AED training, the law will be well-worth the cost and effort. State lawmakers are to be commended for taking steps to keep our children safer.