TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State lawmakers unanimously officially passed a bill to require students to take CPR training to graduate from high school.
Cardiac arrest is the leading cause of deaths on campus and is also the leading cause of death to student-athletes, according to the Senate version of the bill. The American Heart Associates says one in five victims of fatal cardiac arrests could be saved had bystanders given CPR, the bill states.
Lexi Sima was 16 when she survived a sudden cardiac arrest. Since then, her father Shawn Sima has worked for four years to get the bill to pass. Shawn believes the bill, if it becomes law, will save lives.
"Florida is one of seven states in the country that doesn't have this law right now," he said. "So it's going to be a game-changer. We don't have to stand by our loved ones or somebody else's loved ones die."
In addition to CPR, the bill would also require students to learn basic first aid.
The bill will now go to Governor Ron DeSantis' desk for signing. If he does sign the bill, it will go into effect on July 1, in time for the 2021-2022 school year.