Governor declares June 1-7 CPR/AED Awareness Week

L-R: Pictured are two of the volunteers who were instrumental in getting the Hands-Only CPR bill signed. Williston 8th grader Tommy Watson and Michelle Johnson of Shelburne who is a survivor of cardiac arrest thanks to CPR administered by her husband.

Governor Peter Shumlin issued a proclamation last week recognizing June 1-7 as CPR and AED Awareness week. Having recently been trained himself in Hands-Only CPR, the Governor urged all Vermonters to do the same.
The proclamation came on the heels of the Governor’s signing of CPR in Schools legislation in May that ensures all Vermont high school students can be trained in CPR as part of comprehensive health education. The governor signed the bill at Williston Central School accompanied by 8th grader Tommy Watson who was instrumental in gaining support for the bill.  Shelburne resident, and cardiac arrest survivor Michelle Johnston was also on hand.“I’m alive because my husband knew CPR,” said Johnston, who suffered sudden cardiac arrest in October 2009. “I get chills thinking about how many more lives might be saved because so many students will know CPR.”
Noting that close to 90 percent of cardiac arrest victims do not survive, Gov. Shumlin joined the American Heart Association today in urging Vermonters to take action today to learn this life-saving skill.
For every minute without bystander CPR, survival from witnessed cardiac arrest decreases by 10 percent, according to the American Heart Association. But administering CPR quickly can double or even triple a victim’s chance of survival.
Since 80 percent of cardiac arrests happen at home, Gov. Shumlin urged Vermonters to become CPR trained in the event they need to save someone they love.
Anyone can learn CPR and everyone should,” said Shumlin. “It’s quick and easy and will save lives.”

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