CPR in Schools

Teenage students use a mannequin to practice life saving techniques.

CPR in Schools: Why it Matters

In a cardiac arrest emergency, every second counts. If performed immediately, CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. Empowering all youth with CPR and AED training in school will dramatically increase the number of first responders in communities each year and save lives.

Students are eager to learn the popular hands-on skill and teachers love teaching it.

Find out how to bring CPR and AED training to your school.

How to Start a CPR in Schools Program

Starting a CPR in Schools program is easy

  • First, you need to engage the schools’ commitment to training students.
  • Then, schools need teacher training and training equipment to enable them to train students. Or, you need an agency to provide the student training.
At year end, students always say the CPR / AED training is one of the most valuable things they’ve been taught.” –Kristi Cole, Teacher
“All kids should have this technique.  I love it. I love teaching it.  It is not only rewarding for teachers but it is another technique the kids learn and it prepares them for situations they can handle.” – Ken Bowman, Teacher

Finding funds for your CPR in Schools Program

There are many local groups who can help with program setup and delivery.

  • Look at your own local resources for training and/or certification
  • Use existing on-site instructors
  • Reach out to CPR training agencies, Fire Rescue Departments, EMS Agencies, and hospitals
  • Seek donations for training equipment from civic organizations (e.g. service clubs like Kiwanis, Lions, Rotary clubs), foundations and other nonprofit organizations, and companies
  • Engage sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) survivors as advocates for help in engaging schools and in fundraising.

Below we have a list of resource links to help you secure those two first steps and to learn more about getting your CPR program started.

Legislating CPR in Schools

As of August 22, 2017, 37 states and Washington, D.C. have laws requiring hands-on CPR education before high school graduation. Laws also have been passed in California, Maine and Montana, but they fall short of criteria set by the American Heart Association. It’s important to note that many states that have not enacted statewide policies are working at the local and community level to further these CPR training efforts.

“We must advocate for CPR-AED programs in all schools across the United States. Every student should learn CPR as a life skill prior to graduation.  There is absolutely no doubt that teaching CPR to youth in schools can and will save the lives of both adults and children.” –Stuart Berger, MD

CPR in Schools
Legislation Map

Schools in Red Require CPR
for High School Graduation


Eight new states get CPR in School laws. See the article on the AHA site.

To see state legislation and requirements check out the interactive map at heart.org.

Stay Up To Date

To stay up-to-date with your state’s CPR in schools activity and other important policy issues, visit YouAreTheCure.org. And join our advocacy network to receive more information about our issues and take action by engaging policy and lawmakers in the applicable state and region.