LIVINGSTON, NJ – This fall, New Jersey state law will require graduating high school students to learn CPR, and Livingston Public Schools has already put a program in place.

According to LPS, more than 400 LHS juniors were tested this past spring by health education teachers Nancy Ooms, Tamara Floruss, Paul Cirlincione and Mike Munley, along with LHS nurse Carolyn Ross and Andy Krupa, supervisor of health and physical education.

The students were tested after they received six weeks of safety skills and first aid training and about half choose to pay the fee for Red Cross certification. “The unit helps students with babysitting and camp counseling jobs,” Krupa said, “and for some it is a springboard to professional rescue training.”

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According to a 2012 study in the journal Pediatrics, approximately 2,000 Americans under the age of 25 die of sudden cardiac arrest each year. The American Red Cross recently released a statement saying that its organization believes the new legislation “can help avoid unnecessary deaths in our schools and ensure that our high school students have the necessary training to help fellow citizens suffering from a cardiac emergency until trained medical help arrives.” 

Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno signed the bill on Aug. 20 and the new laws take effect Sept. 1. According to the Red Cross, this bill, which was sponsored by Senators Diane Allen (Cinnaminson) and Joseph Vitale (Woodbridge) and Assemblymen Angel Fuentes (Audubon) and Patrick Diegnan Jr. (South Plainfield), was passed with broad bipartisan support.

New Jersey is one of three states in the country to implement such a law. The others are Illinois and Oklahoma.