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Posted: 2/25/2011

Arkansas legislators have issued an AED mandate effective for all districts in keeping with growing national awareness over the need for defibrillators in public areas.

Senate Bill 312 was passed by the 87th General Assembly in Arkansas requiring the creation of school-based automated external defibrillator (AED) and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) programs throughout the state. The act, cited as the “Anthony Hobbs III” act, mandates the State Board of Education to ensure that each campus have an AED, as well as adequately trained school personnel prior to May 31, 2001. The provision includes language requiring defibrillators at school related activities, such as athletic events. Schools districts may receive grant funding from the Department of Health to purchase the AED, related equipment, and training programs to help offset the costs.

Beginning in 2011, the Commissioner of Education will report the status of automated external defibrillator availability on each school campus to the Senate Committee on public Health, Welfare, and Labor.

The amended mandate also calls for a health care provider to oversee the AED programs planning, placement, and maintenance, as well as training of anticipated rescuers and CPR. 

For Arkansas schools purchasing AED’s and CPR training equipment, companies such as HeartSafe America and AED-SHOP.com (www.aed-shop.com) offer discounted packages.  For more information call 1-877-251-7467.

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