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CPR, first aid are life-saving skills

While we don't hear a lot of good news from the state Capitol these days, I was pleased to hear that Gov. David Paterson has signed the CPR child care bill.

The legislation requires all day care providers and school-age child care programs to have at least one staff member trained and certified in CPR and first aid on-site during working hours.

Nationwide, 250,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest. American Heart Association volunteers have long urged state lawmakers to pass legislation to increase the number of lay responders trained in CPR.

I know how important this skill is. When I collapsed from cardiac arrest last Oct. 14, responders performed CPR on me for 45 minutes. I wouldn't be alive today if it weren't for them.

Special thanks to Assemblyman Jack McEneny for co-sponsoring this legislation to ensure others know this life-saving skill.

Now it is time to pass legislation to provide for CPR training for high school students. There is little to no cost involved and CPR can be taught in as little as a half hour. Surely our schools can find 30 minutes in the school year to teach students this life-saving skill.

John Mazur

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