Kentucky high school students are required to get CPR trained

The next time a person needs CPR, it may be your child who saves their life. Under new legislation, all Kentucky students are required to learn CPR before graduation beginning the 2016-2017 school year.

Soon-to-be Paducah Tilghman sophomore Addie Rogers is spending the last weeks of her summer running this track, getting ready to compete and travel for cross-country. 

The traveling is also why she’s CPR trained.

"In cross country, when you go away and something like that were to happen you could be there to help," Rogers said.

Rogers says many students don’t have time for the extra class.

"Not everyone could go after school and it would be good to incorporated in class, and I think it’s really important everybody learn that skill," Rogers said.

CPR training will be incorporated into classes after a new law passed this summer. Dr. Withrow at Baptist Health has worked three years to get this type of legislation passed. 

"Schools are saddled with a lot of unfunded mandates. You know, they’re required to do different lesson plans, different things and they don’t really have the money nor instructors," Withrow said.

Baptist Health and Mercy Regional EMS are teaming up to provide equipment and training at all local high schools. 

"Coming from the aspect of a parent, I can’t always be in contact with my son and daughters," Withrow said.

Paducah Tilghman assistant principal Jonathan Smith says he welcomed the training at the high school. 

"Anytime you’re dealing with something that could potentially save a life, you know it’s going to have a positive impact," Smith said. 

This semester, freshman will be trained during the required health and PE class.

Kentucky is the 29th state to require CPR training for students. Tennessee had the requirement since 2012, and Illinois require CPR for students since 2014.

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