Bucks County Democratic State Rep. Tim Brennan’s Lifesaving AED Bill Passes Through House

Locally, State Rep. Craig Staats was one of 45 Republican ‘No’ votes on a bill that would potentially help save the lives of student athletes suffering from cardiac arrest.

State Rep. Tim Brennan’s bill that amended the Public School Code to require an automatic external defibrillator (AED) at all school sporting events passed overwhelmingly 157-45 on Wednesday. 

Bucks County State Rep. Craig Staats was one of the 45 Republican ‘No’ votes on HB 1685,  which would potentially help save the lives of student athletes suffering from cardiac arrest. AEDs are machines used to restore a heartbeat after a person has a cardiac arrest. The bill stipulates requires all schools to carry them, have staff trained using them, designate AED purchases as a school safety expense, and would allow donations of AEDs.

READ: Bucks County Republican State Representatives K.C. Tomlinson and Craig Staats Vote Against Free Lunch for K-12 Students

Brennan was inspired to create the bill after watching the Monday Night Football game where Buffalo Bills Defensive Back Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest.

“It left a big impression on me that Damar was saved by a first responder using an AED in addition to CPR. I’ve since introduced this and another AED bill that would require them in state-owned buildings,” said Brennan. 

In addition to having an AED in each building, schools must also have at least one person who is both CPR and AED certified. AEDs are also eligible as a school safety expense, and certain employees, such as school nurses and coaches, are required to receive instruction on how to use the machines. Cardiac arrests account for 40 percent of deaths in kids 18 and younger, and applying an AED can increase a person’s chance of survival to 89 percent. 

The legislation is similar to recommendations proposed by The Smart Heart Sports Coalition, a group of different professional and college sports leagues, as well as leading heart associations, that was created following Hamlin’s cardiac arrest and recovery. 

READ: These Three Bucks County Republicans Voted Against the Pennsylvania House Bill to Fix the State’s Unconstitutional Education Funding

“The New Hope-Solebury School District has been actively involved in the Youth Heart Watch Program through CHOP and fully endorsed the provision of AEDs and related training for our faculty and staff,” said Dr. Charles W. Lentz, Ed. D., superintendent of NHSD. “If these efforts help to protect the life of even one child, they are indispensable. Representative Brennan’s efforts will continue to work to ensure that our students have the support they need in cardiac medical emergencies.”

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Aidan Tyksinski

Aidan Tyksinki is a recent graduate from La Salle Univeristy in Philadelphia, where he majored in media and journalism and minored in political science. Before writing for the Beacon, he had work published for National Collegiate Rugby as well as his school paper The Collegian, where he was the editor for the sports section and contributer in the politics section.

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