Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday signed legislation requiring that Illinois high school students learn how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other safety skills.
"It is not often our high school students are faced with the opportunity to save a life," Quinn said in a statement after the bill-signing ceremony in Normal. "Should an emergency arise, we want our students ready to step in and take action."
The new law also requires students to get trained on automated external defibrillators.
"This common-sense law will make sure they are better prepared to help their classmates, teachers, family and friends in case of an emergency," he said.
The bill -- HB3724 -- was prompted by paramedic George Laman. His daughter, who had a heart condition, collapsed and died in 2008 during drill team practice at a suburban Chicago high school. Quinn's office said an AED was available at the school, but not used until paramedics arrived. Her family believes her life could've been saved had someone known how to use it.
The legislation was sponsored by sponsored by State Representative Daniel Burke (D-Chicago) and State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago).