Updated: 03/06/2014 7:21 AM
Created: 03/05/2014 9:03 AM KSTP.com
By: Brad Sattin
Beginning next school year, a new Minnesota state law will require all students to take a CPR course in order to graduate.
On Wednesday the first group of students took that course at Southwest High School in Minneapolis.
The CPR training kits, which include 10 mini-mannequins, are provided through a $12,500 grant from Medtronic.
State Sen. Carla Nelson of Rochester, who authored the 2012 law, says that cardiac arrest strikes about 42 people in the United States every hour and that the training will increase a victim's survival rate by double or triple.
Once the program is implemented in school districts across the state, 60,000 students should be trained every year. Unlike courses in the past, the 30 minute class does not include mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, which is not a critical need in those first moments when a person loses consciousness.
Students who completed Wednesday's course say they're surprised at the energy it takes to continuously pump a person's heart, but they say the possibility of saving a life makes the course worth it.