(NECN: Colleen Bamford) - A young athlete's death is leading to safety changes on the playing field.
Governor Deval Patrick has signed Michael's Bill into law.
It's named after Michael Ellsessar, the Sutton High schooler who died during a football game.
Surrounded by pictures and other reminders of their son, Michael John and Luann Ellsessar of Sutton say he's never far from their thoughts.
Now Michael's legacy will be known in every public school in Massachusetts.
“I think it’s important after everything we've gone through.”
Michael's Law, signed by Governor Patrick this week, is named in memory of Michael Ellsessar. The 16-year-old died suddenly of cardiac arrest during a high school football game in November 2011.
Under the new law, starting this September, every Massachusetts public school must have a written emergency response plan to reduce life threatening emergencies and promote efficient responses if one occurs.
“This will require people to have someone in charge, know what to do and have an AED defibrillator nearby, not locked up in a school somewhere.
The importance of having emergency plans and equipment in place was seen first-hand just one month after Michael's death.
“Tyler Simes was playing hockey and was hit by a puck in the heart, he went in to cardiac arrest, but the people there knew what to do and there was an AED by the ice. He's here today.”
After that, the Simes joined the Ellsessar’s crusade to require provisions at all schools.
State senator Richard Moore and Representative Ryan Fatman took up the cause on Beacon Hill.
Senator Harriette Chandler, chair of the legislature's health care committee, praised its unanimous passage.
“The death is not in vain.”
Michael's Law covers all public schools in Massachusetts but private schools and community sports teams are exempt.
So for the Ellsessar’s, the game continues.
“Now, it’s go time we got the green light and we're going to educate and have plans on how to do that.”
Under the new law, starting this September 2014, every Massachusetts public school must have a written emergency response plan to reduce life threatening emergencies and promote efficient responses if one occurs.
Your support and contributions make it possible for student athletes to get life saving tools.
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#1 Michaels law 2012
Requires all schools to have an emergency medical plan. John's quote" Every school has an active shooter plan but there was no plan in place for someone with a medical emergency. I.E. diabetic episodes, epileptic episodes etc....
#2 Coaches law 2014
All officials and coaches must be trained in CPR and AED use. They also need to be recertified every two years.
#3 AED law 2018
Mandates all schools, public and private, to have at least one AED in place and the Staff needs to be trained on how to use it. The AED has to be present at all major events, including dances, concerts, games etc...
#4 Not a law but a "budget amendment"
Any city or town in Ma. must have an AED for all first responders.
One item of note:
As of 2022 41 states in the country have a law in place that all students need to be trained in CPR.
WE NEED TO GET THIS IN PLACE IN MA.