High School Football

HARRISBURG, PA – January 30, 2023 – Senator Marty Flynn (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne) has introduced a co-sponsorship memorandum for legislation that would require automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to be present at any sporting event hosted by a school district. The proposal also mandates that all coaches complete training on the proper use of AEDs.  

Named “Damar’s Law,” after Buffalo Bills safety and Pittsburgh native Damar Hamlin, this legislation was inspired as a response to the harrowing occurrence of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) that Hamlin experienced during a recent NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals.  

“The incident has highlighted the need to proactively prepare and equip staff, as time is a critical variable when it comes to survivability,” said Flynn.  

While the overwhelming majority of school districts in Pennsylvania have AEDs present in classrooms and school buildings, this bill recognizes the value of AEDs and the increased risk of SCA amongst students participating in athletic events.  

“Damar’s outcome is promising, and I believe if schools follow the protocols I’m suggesting, others impacted by sudden cardiac arrest would have an improved chance at survival,” said Flynn, “It’s all about saving lives.”  

The proposal has bipartisan co-sponsorship, with Senators Bartolotta, Fontana, Haywood, Hughes, Langerholc, and Pennycuick already supporting the legislation. Senator Flynn plans to formally introduce the language of the bill within a month.