COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA)– State lawmakers are looking to better prepare teachers to save a life. Earlier this year a teacher in Charleston was able to save a 6-year-old by performing CPR after he climbed a fence and got into a retention pond.
Right now, CPR training is required for all high school students in the state, but Representative Wendell Gilliard is looking to take that training one step further. He pre-filed a bill in early November that would require that training for some teachers as well.
State lawmakers are worried about what would have happened if that teacher in Charleston did not know CPR. The bill in its current language will only effect teachers at schools near retention ponds, which are designed to collect storm water. “We’ve had people who have wondered off into those type of ponds. we’ve had I’m pretty sure 1 or 2 drownings up around those areas,” explained Representative Gilliard.
The bill would provide the training to teachers at no cost. Lawmakers say it’s better to be prepared than to lose a life.
“I can assure you not every teacher in the state is certified. It concerns me very much so because when you look at teachers they are no different than what we could call our first contact our first responders people who are responders,” added Gilliard.
If passed teachers would have to be certified by the end of the 2018-2019 school year.
CPR certification is currently not a requirement for teacher certification.
Athletic trainers, coaches, and nurses are also currently required to be CPR certified.