Senator Montgomery and Assemblyman Ortiz Urge Passage of Briana's Law, CPR Legislation Could Save Lives by Re-Training Police Officers

Velmanette Montgomery

June 17, 2014

Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Kings) and Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) held a press conference today at the Million Dollar Staircase in the State Capitol in Albany, New York with advocates and supporters of Briana’s Law (A.10142/S.7886). This legislation will require law enforcement agents, including state police, to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) re-training every two years. The bill was drafted in response to the tragic death in 2010 of Briana Ojeda, an 11 year old girl who suffered a severe asthma attack and subsequently died after the attending police officer was unable to administer CPR.

Ortiz, the original sponsor of the legislation in 2010, 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. I hope my colleagues and the Governor will recognize the importance of this legislation and help us win this battle.”

Senator Montgomery, who also sponsored this life-saving measure in 2010, expressed her gratitude to the Ojeda family for their selfless work in garnering support for the bill’s passage in memory of their daughter, Briana. "Knowing CPR could help keep a person alive during the critical minutes before medical professionals arrive on the scene; it is especially important that police officers – vital public servants who are called upon during emergency situations – receive routine CPR re-training,” the Senator said.

“Three to five minutes can be a matter of life and death for sudden cardiac arrest victims. CPR is critical. It can double, even triple these victims’ survival rates. As a paramedic, I have never seen a successful resuscitation for a sudden cardiac arrest victim unless someone had already started CPR,” stated Bob Elling, paramedic and spokesman for the American Heart Association. “We strongly encourage the passage of this measure to help improve the chance of survival for victims of sudden cardiac arrest.”

“The Red Cross fully supports the legislation requiring CPR training and recertification every two years for police officers in New York State,” said Elizabeth Briand, Director of State Relations for the American Red Cross. “By offering lifesaving skills training, the Red Cross aims to ensure that there are always trained individuals nearby in an emergency, ready to act quickly in order to save lives. As first responders in many emergency situations, police officers should have the skills necessary to serve those in need of lifesaving CPR.”