On Friday, Governor Charles D. Baker signed into law legislation filed by Senate Rules Committee Chairman and Assistant Majority Leader Mark C. Montigny (D-New Bedford) to ensure young lives are not tragically lost due a lack of proper equipment and staff at local schools.
Every year, more than 300,000 Americans experience an out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest. Of those, approximately 90 percent do not survive. Automated external defibrillators, or AEDs, greatly enhance survival rates and are simple enough to allow non-medical personnel to operate. These devices guide the user through visual and audible prompts.
Senator Montigny’s legislation, An Act requiring automated external defibrillators in schools, will require AEDs on school campuses and at least one staff member certified in the proper use of the device. Under the bill, an AED and trained personnel must also be readily available at any school-sponsored athletic event. Personnel that use an AED to rescue a victim will be protected from legal liability under the new measure. In addition, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education alongside the Department of Public Health will work with local schools to help identify funding and strategies to acquire needed devices in hardship situations.
“Today marks an important victory for the incredible families who have suffered immense loss and tragedy yet never relented on their fight to ensure more young lives are not needlessly lost. While it took many years to get to this point, I am pleased that Governor Baker has signed this life-saving measure, ensuring that proper equipment will be readily available in all of our local schools,” said Senator Mark Montigny