TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — In 2019, more than 6,800 Floridians died due to heart attack; to help decrease that number, CPR, will make its way into high school classrooms across the state starting July 1.
Firefighter and CPR instructor Jerry Flanders said the change will put more life-savers in the critical gap between cardiac arrest and the arrival of first responders.
"As first responders, getting somewhere, sometimes, with traffic sometimes, especially in rural areas where there's not a lot of emergency response, it takes a long time," said Flanders.
The new law requires 9th and 11th graders to complete a one-hour course. That's significantly shorter than most certifications require, but Flanders said it's still enough time to make a difference.
"Most of the time, like 90 percent of the time, people are going too shallow, so that's one of the things that we focus on," Flanders said.
That, and getting young people excited about saving lives.
"If they are excited about this, they're going to go home and talk to their parents about it, and then, depending on how the instructor guides them, the kids are going to want their families to learn the stuff."
Parents that spoke with ABC 27 said that they're on board.
"Hopefully with his bumper crop of youth and teenagers that are learning, then possibly in the very near future we could expect the average person on the street to save a life," said Leon County School parent Heather Garcia.
When administered correctly, CPR can double or even triple a person's chances of survival.