BOSTON (WWLP) – It was a sea of red Monday at the State House for Heart on the Hill day.

More than 350,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital every year in this country, and bills on Beacon Hill are looking to help save lives. Of those 350,000 people, only 1 in 10 victims survive on average.

A victim of a cardiac event has the best chance of survival if a bystander performs CPR until emergency responders arrive. However, not everyone knows how to perform CPR and an AED is not always available.

That’s when an emergency dispatcher comes in. A bill in the House and Senate would require that all 911 telecommunicators are trained in telephone-assisted CPR. It would also increase access to AEDs and it would make sudden cardiac arrest a reportable disease.

The second set of bills would require CPR to be taught in Massachusetts public schools. Susan Canning lost her son Kevin Major to a heart condition, and she believes this could save lives. “It is so simple to learn how to do a compression and in turn, the survival rate for that patient that has gone down, is three folds, ten folds. If you add CPR in combination with having an automatic external defibrillator, that’s a 90% survival rate.”

The thought is by training students, the next generation of “heart savers” will be created. After the speaking program, the advocates went to lobby lawmakers and asked them to quickly schedule hearings on these bills.

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Ellen Fleming is a reporter at the Boston State House who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Ellen on X @EllenFlem and view her bio to see more of her work.