Representative Kelly Lewis (R-189th), a long-time friend, introduced legislation to provide assistance to any school in Pennsylvania that chose to purchase AEDs and implement a school based program. He cautioned us that similar legislation had been soundly defeated the year before. Representative Lewis introduced his bill in January 2001. On April 25, 2001, along with Greg’s Notre Dame classmates, we were invited to Harrisburg to witness the vote. Kelly’s bill passed unanimously. What a coincidence that April 25th would have been Greg’s sixteenth birthday. The vote wasn’t planned for this date, at least not by any mere mortal.
By the time Governor Ridge signed the legislation on May 17, 2001, its provisions were changed (see State-Wide programs) but it is still the nation’s first state-wide effort to provide AEDs in schools.
Representative Lewis stands ready to share his expertise with legislators from other states who wish to introduce similar legislation. He may be contacted at email@example.com.
AED legislation was introduced in New York in 2001 following the death of Louis Acompora who died after being struck in the chest with a lacrosse ball in March 2000. Rachel Moyer, who teaches in New York State was instrumental in gaining the support of the 500,000 member New York State United Teachers Union. She lobbied legislators, answered questions of staffers, and appeared on several television programs to gain additional support.
New York’s legislation was passed in May 2002 (See State-Wide programs)
Rachel has also been active in Washington D.C. She contacted Senators Kennedy and Frist who jointly sponsored legislation to place AEDs in communities and she trained a number of staff on the use of AEDs so that they would feel comfortable responding to questions.
The bill has been passed by the Senate and is presently in committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.