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DeSantis Signs School CPR Bill, 43 Others

Wilfredo Lee
Associated Press
Gov. Ron DeSantis gestures as he speaks, Monday, June 14, 2021, at the Shul of Bal Harbour, a Jewish community center in Surfside.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed 44 bills, including a measure that will require high-school freshmen and juniors in Florida to take one hour of instruction on how to administer CPR.

The bill (HB 157) passed the House and Senate in unanimous votes during the legislative session that ended April 30.

Under the measure, school districts will be required to provide one hour of “basic training in first aid, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation” to all students in ninth and eleventh grades. School districts also will be “encouraged” to begin giving basic first-aid and CPR training to students in grade 6 and 8.

A House staff analysis said CPR, when started immediately, can double or triple a person’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest.

During the legislative session, several supporters of the bill described personal experiences of themselves or loved ones experiencing cardiac arrest. During a meeting of the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee in April, Edward Kosiec recounted to legislators going into sudden cardiac arrest at a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in Boynton Beach in 2019.

A high-school senior who worked at the restaurant administered CPR to Kosiec, saving his life. Kosiec, who founded the non-profit group Every Second Counts CPR, told lawmakers that making CPR instruction mandatory would prepare students for emergency situations like his.

“We’ll have an army of life-savers, year after year, that know what to do,” he told the panel.

The measure will go into effect July 1. DeSantis' office issued a news release Monday evening about the 44 bills being signed.

Others included a measure (HB 919) that will prevent local governments from blocking the uses of fuel such as natural gas to produce energy and a bill (HB 7033) that will create a task force aimed at reducing an academic achievement gap for boys in Florida schools.