Go Gov. Beverly Perdue!  SRxA’s Word on Health applauds the North Carolina Governor who has just passed a law requiring all high school students in the state to have basic emergency-response training before they can graduate.

Although high schools have been required to teach CPR since 1997, until now this has been unenforced.

But starting with the class of 2015, the bipartisan plan requires that schools teach American Red Cross or American Heart Association curriculum for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and obstructed airway treatment.

The new law comes as great news to Tracey Stell, assistant director of education services at Durham Regional Hospital.  “It melds wonderfully into Durham County’s strategic plan to increase the rate of bystander CPR and it’s really going to help people get more immediate care, which will make a difference in survival,” Stell said. “You shouldn’t have to wait for an ambulance to arrive for CPR to start. Man, that’s a huge win.”

The new law signed on Thursday joins another aimed at saving lives: a law requiring at least one defibrillator kit in every state building in North Carolina and training for state employees to use them.

North Carolina joins four other states that have signed CPR graduation requirements into law this year: Iowa, Alabama, Tennessee and Minnesota.

By making CPR as important as ABC’s, we hope the next generation of students will be better equipped to start college life and save the lives of others.