Michigan coaches will now be required to have CPR training

Two years ago, the Representative Council of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) approved a requirement that all of the state’s varsity coaches have valid CPR training, and beginning this fall the rule will take effect.

Michigan's high school varsity coaches will now be required to have CPR certification.
Michigan’s high school varsity coaches will now be required to have CPR certification.

The lag in enforcing the rule was likely to allow the state’s varsity coaches time to obtain proper certification. The MHSAA has called coach preparedness one of its priorities in addressing health and safety in high school sports. High schools will be required to attest that all of their coaches have met the requirements by the 2015-16 school year.

The push for CPR training within athletic programs has been ongoing for the last couple years, and some lawmakers have even suggested making CPR training part of the curriculum for high school students. Massachusetts last year passed a law requiring that all school athletic coaches obtain CPR certification by Aug. 1, 2015. The state’s athletic directors welcomed the news.

“I think it’s a good idea for coaches to have CPR training,” Norton High School athletic director Ted Currle told The Sun Chronicle. “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.”

CPR training can be completed for free through several organizations, and some offer online courses. The MHSAA joins dozens of other member-state associations in requiring some or all of a school’s coaches to be CPR certified. Most states require some form of first aid training for coaches, which can also include Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.

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