Bills would strengthen community safety by requiring access, training on defibrillators


State Rep. John Fitzgerald speaks to House Bill 5527, on the floor on March 19 at the Capitol in Michigan

LANSING, Mich., March 19, 2024 – Today, House Bills 5527 and 5528 — aimed to prevent deaths due to sudden cardiac arrest in schools — passed the Michigan House of Representatives. The bill package, introduced by State Reps. John Fitzgerald (D-Wyoming) and Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit) would improve school safety by requiring schools to develop cardiac emergency response plans, and offer training and access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which are used to assist in the response to cardiac emergencies.

“This legislation is about helping save lives, especially of our young people and student athletes.  By requiring a response plan and the presence of an AED in schools, our students will have a greater chance of survival when an emergency arises,” Fitzgerald said, sponsor of House Bill 5527. “The passage of this legislation in the house is a necessary and meaningful step forward in helping to save the lives of students, athletes, parents and school event attendees.”

23 states have laws that require AEDs in schools, but those laws vary in the level of detail on the requirement of having AEDs on the property of schools and training for the use of AEDs. Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a critical emergency resulting from a malfunction in the heart’s electrical system. Most people can be saved from SCA if it is treated in the first few minutes of the event with a shock from an AED.

“About 2,000 young, seemingly healthy people under the age of 25 in the United States die each year due to sudden cardiac arrest. This legislation is a key solution to making sure athletic coaches especially are prepared in case of a cardiac emergency. My bill requires every athletic coach to be trained and certified in the performance of both CPR and AEDs. This is life-saving legislation adding more protection for all youth in schools across the state,” Carter said, sponsor of House Bill 5528.