Massachusetts may require HS coaches to learn CPR

October 29, 2014 /
The Massachusetts legislature is moving a bill that would require all of the state’s high school coaches to be trained in CPR.

Athletic directors are supportive of the mandate, which has yet to clear the full legislature before it’s forwarded to the governor’s office.

It certainly wouldn’t hurt having coaches learn CPR, but many question how it’s going to be paid for. According to The Sun Chronicle, the bill states that schools wouldn’t be responsible for the expense, but it doesn’t specify who would. 

From the article:

Ted Currle, athletic director at Norton High School, said he thought the bill was a good idea.

“I think with so many teams and so many athletes, it’s hard to have a trainer at everything,” he said.

“I think it’s a good idea for coaches to have CPR training. We have done training in the past with our nurse and one year we did it with the Wheaton college and the fire department. It’s an added expense for athletic departments, but well worth it if it saves someone in need of CPR.”

The bill was proposed by state Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield. Versions of the bill have reportedly been on file in the Legislature for 15 years. 

Downing told State House News Service that victims are more likely to recover if they get immediate treatment with CPR.

“The coaches are the closest on the field to the players, and if this can save one life then that’s why we are doing it,” he said. 

The cost of CPR and defibrillator training is about $75 per person, according to the American Red Cross. The article indicates that a separate bill, which is still in committee, would require schools to have defibrillators at games.

Photo by Rama (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.0-fr (], via Wikimedia Commons

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