Governor signs CPR re-certification bill into law

Courtesy of the American Heart Association

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill known as Briana’s Law that requires New York police officers to be retrained in CPR every two years. The bill was written after an 11-year-old Brooklyn girl died when an officer could not administer CPR while she was suffering from a severe asthma attack.

Briana’s Law will now require all NYPD and New York State Police to be retrained in CPR every two years, which is the recommended re-certification period from the American Heart Association. They will also be required to receive training while at the police academy.

The bill (A2115 /S3165) changes the requirement and practice for the NYPD, which is not currently required to complete CPR training and re-certification. The new law reinforces the current practice of State Troopers, who are currently required to complete CPR training and re-certification every two years.

“This bill will save lives,” said Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix Ortiz, who sponsored the assembly version of the bill.

Courtesy of Briana Ojeda’s family

Briana Ojeda was being driven to the hospital by her mother after having an asthma attack at a playground in Brooklyn when an NYPD officer pulled them over for driving the wrong way on a one way road. The officer wasn’t able to perform CPR. He allowed them to continue on to the hospital, but Briana died soon after.

Ortiz has been involved with this bill from the beginning. Briana’s grandparents live in his district. Her parents live one block outside of it. He said the biggest obstacle that surrounded the bill was the worry of cost to the city and state. He assured “those across the aisle” that there wouldn’t be a large cost due to the NYPD and state police already providing CPR training.

The bill was signed by the governor on the seven year anniversary of Briana’s death. Legislators and Briana’s parents, Carmen and Michael Ojeda, advocated for the passage of this bill for seven years.

The law will take effect 60 days after being signed.