MELBOURNE — A bill to institute mandatory CPR in state high schools is approaching passage at the state level, according to the family supporting it.
"We are on the move with the CPR Bill. This is the furthest it’s ever been. We are so close. Please help!!!" Shawn Sima, a Melbourne, Florida resident, stated in an email.
"Contact your senator and ask them to support CS/HB 7055 next week on the Senate floor. If you are unsure who your senator is, you can use this tool to identify him/her: http://flsenate.gov/Senators/Find. Contact any senator in your county.
"The more emails we can get sent into the Senate on this issue, the better. This map should be able to help you get a good idea of which senator represents which county: https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/Districts," Sima said.
State Sen. Debbie Mayfield and State Rep. Thad Altman submitted Senate Bill 996 and Florida House Bill 795 to the Florida Legislature for 2018 and the Simas support their efforts.
The bills call for school districts to make instructional programs by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross part of their curriculum. Students would be required to learn to use cardiopulmonary resuscitation, CPR, and an automated external defibrillator at least once before graduation.
Previous efforts to get the bills passed failed. "It was called an unfunded mandate, meaning the state did not want to mandate this training without the funds ... Essentially the cost should not be an issue at all. Most of the CPR kits are donated," Sima said.
Sima and his family began working to get the bill passed when his daughter, Lexi, 17 at the time, almost died from a cardiac arrest while working out in a gym. They credit gym employees and bystanders' use of CPR and an automated external defibrillator to keep her alive until paramedics arrived.