February 11, 2014

Assembly Passes Legislation Establishing "Briana's Law"
Bill Would Require Police Officers to be Retrained on CPR Every Two Years

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz today announced the passage of legislation establishing "Briana's Law," which would require police officers in New York State to be retrained on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) every two years (A.4974).

"New Yorkers in need rely on police officers day in and day out to protect them and keep them safe, making CPR, a critical and potentially life-saving procedure, a fundamental part of a police officer's duty and responsibilities," Speaker Silver said. "This legislation provides families with the knowledge that, when and if the time comes, New York State's police force will be ready and able to step up and fulfill its oath to protect and serve."

The legislation is named for Briana Ojeda, an 11-year-old girl from Brooklyn who died tragically in August 2010 after suffering an asthma attack.

"As Briana's mother was rushing her to the hospital, she was stopped by a police officer, who failed to administer life-saving CPR, claiming he was not able to perform it," Ortiz said. "Passage of this bill and its adoption into law would be a victory in the name of Briana's family who has fought, lobbied, and advocated every day since losing their daughter. My only hope is that the Ojeda family will finally achieve some peace, knowing that no other child will be lost in this way."

According to the American Heart Association, effective bystander CPR provided immediately after a sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim's chance of survival. As of 2013, however, only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from such a witness or onlooker.