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Schools across Illinois to be trained in Cardiac Emergency Response Plans

Cardiac Emergency Response Plans to be taught in Illinois
Cardiac Emergency Response Plans to be taught in Illinois 02:19

CHICAGO (CBS) — There is a new, landmark bill headed to Governor JB Pritzker's desk focused on saving lives in schools.

It focuses on cardiac health.

There've been many stories of students or teachers who fall to sudden cardiac arrest on campus.

And you're about to hear from two of them who survived.

Heather Baker was a school administrator in a small town outside Rockford, and Maddox McCubbbin was a high schooler in Moline.

"When I went into my period six study hall near the end of class, I collapsed, and my heart had stopped. Really, the only reason that I am alive is because my school had an action plan for this to happen," McCubbin said. 

"I walked into an administrative meeting, I was laughing and talking with my coworkers. And then suddenly I felt really dizzy; within 5 to 10 seconds, I collapsed dead on the floor," Baker said. 

"Similar to Maddox, my colleagues had been trained by the American Heart Association in CPR only one month before this incident, and they had a plan to respond," Baker added. 

In both of their cases, school staff members were able to perform CPR and then use two to three shocks from an AED Defibrillator to bring them back to life.

However, Illinois schools have not required that kind of training above and beyond until now.

Baker and McCubbin, in partnership with the American Heart Association, addressed the Illinois legislature, which passed House Bill 5394.

Once it's signed, it will mandate that staff at schools across Illinois be trained and practice Cardiac Emergency Response Plans.

"The passage of this bill is just such a victory because it means that people will not have to go through what I went through," McCubbin said. 

"What this law will do is ensure every school district in the state has a plan and runs a drill once a year. As a principal, I know that that burden is very low; it takes very little time and very little funding, so it's a very easy way to ensure that lives are saved at school," Baker said. 

Illinois joins Kansas, Michigan and Kentucky which have all passed similar bills.CPR 

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