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July 17, 2012 > Bill on life-saving devices signed into law

Bill on life-saving devices signed into law

Submitted By California State PTA

Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation supported by the California State PTA (Parent Teacher Association) that will enable schools to utilize Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) devices without risk of liability for civil damages resulting from a rescue effort when all requirements of the law are met.

SB 1436, by Sen. Alan Lowenthal of Long Beach, was sponsored by the American Heart Association. PTA supported the measure as part of its commitment to encourage local schools and school districts to acquire AEDs for their campuses.

In 2011, California State PTA convention delegates passed a resolution, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Awareness in Schools, establishing the issue as a focus area.

"The California State PTA is grateful to Senator Lowenthal for introducing this bill and to Governor Brown for signing it. AED devices save lives, and we are committed to helping place more AEDs in schools and ensuring that all staff receive annual information of the device locations and designated staff receive proper training to use them," said Vice President for Health for the California State PTA Linda Mayo.

The legislation helps efforts to save lives - including those that occur on school campuses - by making permanent a number of training issues surrounding the use of AEDs.

The AED device is designed to provide any user powerful diagnostic and treatment capability for sudden cardiac arrest victims. It has proven to be effective but its use has been slowed out of liability concerns.

Existing law provides conditional liability protection to school districts when all AED oversight and training requirements are met - but that protection was set to sunset at the beginning of 2013.

SB 1436 makes that protection permanent and creates more certainty related to requirements that school districts and other voluntary acquirers of AEDs must meet in order to be immune from civil liability, likely resulting in more AED installations and greater Good Samaritan access.

As part of its work to promote AED awareness, California State PTA also has a unique collaboration with the nonprofit, vendor-neutral Via Foundation to provide AED packages to schools.

The California State PTA has nearly one million members throughout the state working on behalf of public schools, children and families, with the motto, "every child, one voice." For more information: www.capta.org.

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