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MI high school coaches will need CPR, AED certification

CPR training session
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CPR training session

Sudden cardiac arrest claims the lives of about 250 Michigan children and young adults each year. Legislationsigned into law over the weekend aims to reduce that number. The new state law will require all public high school coaches to become CPR and AED certified.

Alexander Bowerson, now a freshman at the University of Michigan, is excited about it. During his senior year at Memphis High School, he says he would have died during wrestling practice had it not been for the quick thinking of a cheerleading coach who was also a nurse, and the defibrillator or AED that was available onsite.

"She knew exactly what to do," he said. "She realized it was cardiac right away, got an AED on me, took one shock and within 15 minutes after my first symptoms, was when I remember regaining full consciousness."

House Bills 5527 and 5528 will also require K-through-12 schools to establish a cardiac emergency response team, and do annual reviews of their emergency plan. The cost for CPR and AED certification is between $15 and $100 - and school districts will not be required to pay for the training.

Under the new law, the mandatory AED and CPR certifications must be obtained through the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or an organization approved by the Michigan Department of Education. Bowerson said all it takes is a simple online search to see that there are a few kids in the Detroit area this year, who experienced cardiac emergencies."So now that it's required, I hope school boards take it seriously - and there's going to be a kid alive today, or whenever it happens, that wasn't going to be alive before, because of these bills," he said.

The new cardiac emergency response law goes into effect starting in the 2025-2026 school year.

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