Sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time. Sudden cardiac arrest is most often caused by a heart attack, but it can also be caused by trauma, an overdose, or drowning. In sudden cardiac arrest the heart stops beating, blood stops circulating, oxygen stops flowing to the brain, and the victim stops breathing. If CPR is not provided or no defibrillation occurs within 3 to 5 minutes of collapse, the chances of survival drop.
According to the American Heart Association, nearly 424,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of hospitals every year and only nine out 10 survive. If CPR is given to a victim in the minutes before EMS arrives, it can double or triple their chance of survival.
Knowing that, wouldn’t we want more people in our state familiar with administering CPR? Teaching Florida high school students the lifesaving skill of CPR before they graduate would put thousands of qualified lifesavers in our community, year after year.
I support Senate Bill #328, House Bill #1311 and the American Heart Association’s efforts to create future generations of lifesavers by teaching evidence-based, hands-on CPR to students before they graduate [from high school] by adding trainings to classes that are already required for graduation.
Kimberly Neisler, Fire Chief
Maitland Fire/Rescue Department