Senator Lesser Cheers Passage of Bill Inspired by Westfield Man that Requires Defibrillators in Schools

“We invest in emergency preparedness for a reason,” Lesser said

BOSTON — Hours before Senator Eric P. Lesser was sworn in to a second term, the state legislature passed a bill requiring schools to have Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) on the last day of the 2016 legislative session.

“We invest in emergency preparedness for a reason, so that we are ready when these tools are needed. This is why I am proud that Massachusetts has taken this step to stop these preventable tragedies at our schools. I hope the governor will follow the Senate’s lead and sign this bill into law,” Lesser said.

The law requires every school in the state to have an AED, a device that can shock a person’s heart back to its proper rhythm after someone goes into cardiac arrest. About 20 percent of Massachusetts schools do not currently have AEDs.

The bill was inspired by Kevin Major, who died suddenly from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in 2011 while swimming in Congamond Lakes. He was only 19 years old.

Major’s mother, Susan Canning, helped found KEVS Foundation to educate and help prevent Sudden Cardiac Arrest in children and young adults. A group of families led by the foundation have been advocating for the bill.

Lesser and his staff met with Canning and KEVS Foundation throughout the legislative session and worked with Senate President Stan Rosenberg and Senator Mark Montigny to get the bill passed.

Lesser called Canning to congratulate her on the bill’s passage and said he hoped Governor Baker would quickly sign it into law.

“This bill speaks to the good that can come out of tragedy when we all come together to prevent future tragedies,” Lesser said.

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