0616-Feature-CPR_HPGraduating seniors across New York State are the first student class to graduate with Hands-Only CPR skills as a result of legislation that went into effect this school year.

“They started with ABC’s and finished with CPR. Three little letters can make all the difference.

Congratulations Class of 2016!” said Bob Elling, chair of the AHA’s New York State advocacy committee.

New York is one of 34 states in the U.S. that require students to learn CPR in school. Under legislation in the states, more than 2 million students will be trained each year, including more than 190,000 high school graduates in New York.

“Think about next year and every year after, how many more students will learn this lifesaving skill,” said Brendan Lyons, Hudson Valley AHA board member and superintendent of Arlington Central School District.

The impact on survival from cardiac arrest “will be dramatic,” he said.