International Campus

Kansas State Board of Education makes CPR training mandatory for students before graduation

The Kansas State Board of Education voted on Tuesday to make Kansas the 38th state to provide CPR training to students before they graduate high school.

“The real reason that’s important is, we need to increase the incidence of bystander CPR,” said Kevin Walker, the American Heart Association’s Regional Vice President of Advocacy. “The reality is, the incidences of cardiac arrest are far greater outside the clinical setting than they are in the clinical setting.”

CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.

“That’s why we really think this is important,” said Walker. “By training our high school students, we’re training an army of lifesavers that will be dispatched throughout the state.”

The American Heart Association is putting its money where its mouth is with regard to the program. The Association is providing CPR in Schools Kits at a value of $25,000 for the upcoming school year. The kits will be placed statewide at the State’s seven regional service centers for distribution.

“This is something we’re very happy to do,” said Walker. “Over the years, the people of Kansas have been very good to the Heart Association, supporting our mission all across the state. We were in a position that we felt like we could give something back to the state, as kind of a thank you. We also know there’s a lot of challenges with schools and school finance right now. We thought if we could put some money into this, it would certainly make things easier for
everybody involved.”

Nearly 33,000 students will be trained in CPR across the state.