New State Law Forces Schools To Buy Defibrillators

By Camaron Abundes
NewsWest 9

BIG SPRING- An automated external defibrillator will be required at every school campus in Texas.

"It's a life saving piece of equipment, if someone has a cardiac condition and collapses due to that this will save their lives," said Big Spring High School Athletic Trainer Andy Rankin.

He raised money to buy two Defibrillators, a year an half ago, but he says they could use more.

"My goal for all of Big Spring ISD, the whole school system would be twenty and that's one for every building in the campus. Definitely any building with a student in it, as well as multiple units for athletic events," he said.

Today Governor Rick Perry, R-Texas,  ceremonially signed into law Senate Bill 7 requiring every school in the state buy a defibrillator and to make defibrillators available at all University Interscholastic athletic practices and competitions.

"Along with athletics there are other UIL events that are going on. The way I understand the law those events need access to the defibrillator as well," said Rankin, "Basically beyond the two that we already have we would need to purchase, one for every campus."

The law also requires annual defibrillator training for every coach and UIL sponsor. Now Student trainers like Joey Rios will have to learn how to use it, along with basic CPR.

"I think it's a good thing that we have the basic training down just in case something does happen," said Rios.

Each Defibrillator can cost anywhere from a thousand dollars but Rankin says knowing it will be on the sideline if schools around the state need it, is well worth it.

"I think it's a very progressive thing. It will save lives," said Rankin.