Rep. Tranel and Sen. Cabral-Guevara introduce bill placing anti-choking devices in schools

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 5:44 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) - State Representative Travis Tranel (R-Cuba City) and Senator Rachael Cabral-Guevara (R-Appleton) introduced a bill Thursday to place anti-choking devices in schools.

The Bruegmann family of Fennimore knows all too well the dangers posed by choking. In 2016, Courtney and Matt Bruegmann lost their son to a choking incident. Classic life-saving techniques did not help their child. Since the incident, they have been passionately supporting the placement of anti-choking devices throughout schools to prevent similar tragedies from occurring.

“The best, common sense solutions come from friends, neighbors, and families,” Rep Tranel said. “This idea was developed by Courtney and Matt Bruegmann, and I am proud they are advocating on behalf of this policy change to make Wisconsin schools safer, especially rural schools that oftentimes have part-time or shared school nurses.”

Under current law, every public school board and every private school governing body are required to provide a standard first-aid kit for use in cases of emergency. This bill requires the 3,146 public and private schools to make accessible, as part of a first-aid kit, an anti-choking device that is registered as a Class I or Class II medical device with the FDA.

“There is an opportunity for individuals trained in life-saving techniques and properly equipped with a last resort anti-choking device to intervene before EMS arrival,” said Sen. CabralGuevara. “Recognizing that you are the help until help arrives may be lifesaving since prolonged low oxygen can kill brain cells, lead to brain damage, and death.”

Typically these devices, costing less than $100 apiece, are used as a last resort after recommended Red Cross choking guidelines have been applied. The bill also requires school boards and the governing bodies of private schools to annually provide training on the use of the devices according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

This bill is currently being circulated for co-sponsorship throughout the legislature.