Senate Passes Killion Bill to Expand CPR Training in Schools

The Pennsylvania Senate today unanimously passed legislation aimed at saving lives through greater education and training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, according to Senator Tom Killion (R-9), who sponsored the measure.

Senate Bill 115 would strengthen academic guidelines in schools for CPR training in grades nine through 12, while adding hands-only CPR instruction to Pennsylvania’s education curriculum.

“This bill will greatly expand lifesaving CPR training in Pennsylvania,” said Killion.  “If this becomes law, future generations will better learn how to administer CPR while attending high school.  This has the potential to save countless lives for years to come.”

Killion noted that over 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of hospitals each year.  There is a less than 10 percent survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest.

“We commend the Pennsylvania Senate for unanimously passing legislation to provide CPR education in schools, including information on how to use AEDs (automated external defibrillators),” said Martin Gannon, a member of the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation Board of Directors.

Gannon survived sudden cardiac arrest in 2003 at a basketball game at Steel Valley High School in Munhall, thanks to the quick actions of bystanders who provided CPR and then 16-year-old Penn Hills High School student, Matthew Strauss, who used an AED to save Gannon’s life.

Frances M. Sheehan, President of The Foundation for Delaware County, also urged final passage of the measure, calling it an important life-saving tool.”

“Almost 350 Delaware County residents died from cardiac arrest in 2017 because no one nearby was trained in CPR. The Foundation for Delaware County applauds Senator Killion for saving lives,” Sheehan said.

Victoria, Vetter, M.D., Director of Youth Heart Watch and Professor of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia also thanked Senator Killion for proposing the legislation.

“Passage of SB 115 is a great accomplishment,” Vetter said. “It will be a life-saving day for the citizens of Pennsylvania when this bill is signed into law and our high school graduates become the next generation who will provide CPR and help prevent sudden cardiac death.”

This legislation is a top priority of the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association.  It is also supported by the Pennsylvania State Education Association, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers Society and Independence Blue Cross.

If Killion’s bill becomes law, Pennsylvania would become the 39th state to enact similar CPR legislation.  The measure now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT: Shannon Royer at or (717) 787-4712.