City councilor proposes mandating CPR training for all BPS grads

BOSTON (WHDH) — A Boston City Councilor is calling for CPR training to be a graduation requirement for all public schools.

Councilor-at-Large Annissa Essaibi-George said she was inspired by Ryan McWade, a Boston College High School senior from Quincy. McWade said he saw an overdose victim who was not breathing at Dorchester’s Town Field a few months ago and knew he had to do something so he started performing CPR.

At the time, McWade was volunteering as a counselor for the All-Dorchester Sports League. He said he learned how to do CPR from watching YouTube.

Eventually, man started breathing again and was given Narcan when emergency crews arrived. They thanked McWade for his quick thinking.

Essaibi-George praised McWade and invited him to City Council, where he was recognized for his efforts. Essaibi-George, a former high school teacher, said he wants all public school students in Boston to be certified in CPR and other life-saving techniques.

“I want this to be part of what we’re doing in our schools,” said Essaibi-George. “It makes school so much more meaningful for our kids and it’s real applicable life skills.”

A spokesperson for Boston Public Schools said while CPR is currently not a graduation requirement, the schools have partnered with the American Heart Association on this. High school students and some eighth-graders are being trained in CPR during physical education class. Forty-five teachers at 25 schools have also received training.

Essaibi-George said she plans to formally introduce this idea next month. She is still exploring how to pay for the program.

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