November 24, 2023
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Keep Kids Safe from Cardiac Emergencies

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation to Keep Kids Safe from Cardiac Emergencies

Legislation S.7424/A.366A Requires Camps and Youth Sports Programs to Establish an AED Implementation Plan

Legislation Supported by Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin Aims to Save Lives, Protect Youth

Governor Kathy Hochul today signed legislation S.7424/A.366A requiring camps and youth sports programs to establish automated external defibrillator, or AED, implementation plans and to have at least one person trained to properly use the AED at camps, games and practice.

"We all remember the terrifying moment when Damar Hamlin was injured last January, but young athletes at schools and camps could be exposed to similar risks," Governor Hochul said. "By requiring camps and youth sports programs to establish an AED implementation plan, kids will be safer and teams will be prepared. I want every parent in New York to know: we're doing everything we can to keep your kids safe."

Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin said, “Growing up, in all the years that I played football, I don’t remember thinking about where an AED was located or who was trained to use one. I think that many people have had the same experience. My journey has shown us that no one expects cardiac arrest to happen - and we all need to be prepared. By requiring that at least one person is trained to properly use an AED at every sports event, camp and practice, this new law will help protect tens of thousands of kids in New York State - and is a really important step in saving lives.”

Legislation S.7424/A.366A, pursuant to changes agreed to with the Legislature, will require camps and youth sports programs with five or more teams participating to establish an AED implementation plan. Such plans will detail how AEDs will be made available or reasonably accessible at every camp, game or practice. The AED implementation plans will also detail how the camps and programs will ensure that when practicable at least one employee, volunteer, coach, umpire or other qualified adult who has successfully completed a training course in the operation of an AED is present.

State Senator Shelley B. Mayer said, “I am pleased that New York State will now require camps and many youth sport programs and leagues to develop a plan for AED access at all of their practices, games, and other events. More than 7,000 children experience cardiac emergencies each year, and too often an AED is not available. This legislation will make these programs safer and provide parents and young athletes with peace of mind. This issue is personal to so many New Yorkers –– Dana Colasante and Alice Schoen, two of my constituents, advocated for this bill after their close family members went into cardiac arrest at youth sporting events. Dana’s husband and Alice’s son thankfully survived because an AED was available, and they could receive immediate care. I am proud to have fought for this legislation alongside them and Assemblyman Otis to ensure other lives can be saved. I want to thank Governor Kathy Hochul for signing it into law today.”

Assemblymember Steven Otis said, "Sudden cardiac arrest has a 90% fatality rate, but those outcomes can be improved when CPR and AED response occurs within three minutes of an episode. It is estimated that between 7,000 and 14,000 youth sudden cardiac arrests occur nationwide each year. This legislation will save lives by having youth sports groups and camps include AED coverage as part of their first aid plans. This important legislation was made possible through the advocacy of Dana Colasante and Alice Schoen, whose husband and son were saved by the presence of an AED at youth sports events. Tremendous thanks go to Governor Hochul, Project Adam, Saving Active Hearts, the American Heart Association, American Red Cross-NYS, Westchester Medical Center’s Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, other groups supporting this legislation, and my Senate colleague Shelley Mayer for supporting this life-saving reform."

WMCHealth Network President and CEO Michael D. Israel said, “We know that when sudden cardiac events strike, the odds for survival are greatly improved when CPR is deployed and automated external defibrillators are nearby. As the founders of Project ADAM in New York where we work with area schools and sports teams on sudden cardiac arrest preparedness, we are delighted to partner on this bill with Gov. Kathy Hochul, Senator Shelley Mayer, Assemblyman Steve Otis, the American Heart Association and Damar Hamlin to make AEDs more widely available as well as equip, train and prepare others to join our cause of saving lives. The progress we’re making to raise awareness about sudden cardiac events in children is a testament to Alice Schoen and Dana Colasante, who co-founded Project ADAM here at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital.”

Project ADAM New York at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital Co-founders Dana Colasante and Alice Schoen said, “After five years of advocating for awareness on the signs and risks of sudden cardiac arrest in children and how schools and youth sports leagues can prepare with accessible automated external defibrillators and CPR/AED training, we are thrilled that Governor Hochul signed Bill S7424 into law that will improve the cardiac chain of survival. There have been too many children on athletic fields and courts, at camps and at schools, who died and whose lives might have been saved had an AED been readily available. We are so grateful to Assemblyman Steve Otis and to Senator Shelley Mayer for championing this life-saving legislation.”

American Heart Association Westchester Board President Dr. Patrick Thomas said, “The American Heart Association goal is to turn bystanders into lifesavers, so that in time of cardiac emergency anyone, anywhere is prepared and empowered to become a vital link in the chain of survival. We applaud the advocacy of Project ADAM NY in taking a step towards ensuring more access to AEDs at camps and youth sports program and we look forward to working with Governor Hochul and the legislature to continue to work to pass policies that will increase survival from sudden cardiac arrest.“

Contact the Governor's Press Office

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Albany: (518) 474-8418
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