In 2013, the Washington State legislature passed “CPR in Schools” HB 1556 to create initiatives in high schools “to save lives in the event of cardiac arrest.” Every school district that operates a high school must offer instruction in CPR to students. Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, instruction in CPR was included in at least one health class necessary for graduation.
OSPI, in consultation with school districts and stakeholder groups, developed guidance for a medical emergency response and automated external defibrillator (AED) program for high schools. This response and program complies with current evidence-based guidance from the American Heart Association. OSPI works with the Department of Health to assist districts in carrying out the programs and provide guidelines and advice for seeking grants for the purchase of the AEDs. OSPI may coordinate with local health districts or other organizations in seeking grants and donations for this purpose.
There are specific requirements outlined in RCW 28A.230.179:
- Every school district that operates a high school must offer instruction in CPR to students.
- Beginning in the 2013-14 school year, instruction in CPR must be included in at least one health class necessary for graduation.
- The instructional program must be developed by the American Heart Association, American Red Cross or a nationally recognized program based on the most current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines for CPR/AED.
- Instruction must include appropriate use of an AED, which may be taught by video.
- Instruction must incorporate hands-on practice in addition to cognitive learning.
Resources for Implementing CPR/AED Instruction in High Schools
American Heart Association (AHA)
- CPR in Schools Training Kit – This kit is brand new. The American Heart Association offers several training options at a variety of price points.
- Family & Friends CPR Anytime
- Heartsaver CPR AED
- Find A Course – Classes and Skills Sessions – Schools may contact a local AHA CPR Training Center to explore training site options,
- Hands-Only CPR Video – Free YouTube video
- Be the Beat – a free video at the bottom of page “In the Spotlight” Hands-Only CPR). Games and videos to supplement the psychomotor training
- Risk Management AED Manual and Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) Information Sheet
- Nick of Time Foundation – NoTF has done great work with trainings at their school screenings.
- American Red Cross Trainings
- Local EMS or Fire Departments – If a school is not already familiar with their local EMS or Fire, they could likely reach out to the state/county health department to find contacts. The Washington State Council of Fire Fighters is very supportive and would undoubtedly connect a school with their local department.
- Local Hospitals – especially public hospital districts looking to expand their community benefit impact.