By Doyice Cotten
In 2018, California passed a law mandating that all public schools or charter schools that offer interscholastic athletics must have at least one automated external defibrillator (AED) – effective July 1, 2019. Interestingly, the legislature did not provide funding for the devices, but noted that existing law authorizes a public school to solicit and receive nonstate funds to acquire and maintain an automated external defibrillator (AED).
There has been considerable complaint about the fact that this law requires an AED, but does not provide state funding. Having on hand an AED significantly increases the likelihood that a person suffering a sudden cardiac arrest will survive the event – so children participating in athletics will be safer. In fact, children not participating in athletics, teachers, coaches, administrators, and staff will also be safer.
Complainers should look at the big picture; kids and adults will be safer on school campuses!!! The bill quoted below is now California law.
Assembly Bill No. 2009
An act to add Sections 35179.4 and 35179.6 to the Education Code, relating to interscholastic athletic programs.
[ Approved by Governor September 21, 2018. Filed with Secretary of State September 21, 2018. ]
AB 2009 Interscholastic athletic programs: school districts: written emergency action plans: automated external defibrillator. [All bold is added.]
Existing law establishes a system of public elementary and secondary schools operated by local educational agencies throughout this state. Under existing law, public and private secondary schools participate in interscholastic sports, and are authorized to enter into associations or consortia to enact and enforce rules relating to eligibility for, and participation in, these activities.
Existing law authorizes school districts to provide specified medical services in connection with athletic events that are under the jurisdiction of, or sponsored or controlled by, school districts. These services include medical or hospital insurance for pupils injured while participating in athletic activities, and ambulance service for pupils, instructors, spectators, and other individuals in attendance at athletic activities.
Existing law authorizes a public school to solicit and receive nonstate funds to acquire and maintain an automated external defibrillator (AED). Existing law provides that an employee of the school district is not liable for civil damages resulting from certain uses, attempted uses, or nonuses of an AED, except as provided. Existing law provides that a public school or school district that complies with certain requirements related to an AED is not liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission in the rendering of the emergency care or treatment, except as provided.
If a school district or charter school elects to offer any interscholastic athletic program, this bill would require the school district or charter school to
(1) ensure that there is a written emergency action plan in place, and posted as specified, that describes the location and procedures to be followed in the event of sudden cardiac arrest or other medical emergencies related to the athletic program’s activities or events,
(2) acquire, commencing July 1, 2019, at least one AED for each school within the school district or the charter school to be available on campus,
(3) encourage that the AED or AEDs are available for the purpose of rendering emergency care or treatment, as specified,
(4) ensure that the AED or AEDs are available to athletic trainers and coaches and authorized persons at the athletic program’s on campus activities or events, and
(5) ensure that the AED or AEDs are maintained and regularly tested, as specified.
The bill would expressly state that an employee of a school district or charter school is not liable for civil damages resulting from certain uses, attempted uses, or nonuses of an AED in the rendering of emergency care or treatment pursuant to the bill’s provisions, except as provided. The bill would expressly state that a public school, school district, or charter school that complies with certain requirements related to an AED is not liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission in the rendering of emergency care or treatment pursuant to the bill’s provisions, except as provided.
Photo Credit: Thanks to Leon Brocard via Flickr.