ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, April 8, 2024 – Legislation that would ensure Maryland schools, both public and nonpublic, would be ready to handle cardiac emergencies has passed both chambers and moves to the governor’s desk to be signed.

The Bailey Bullock Act, named for a 16-year-old Harford County teen who died outside his school following track practice in May 2021, was approved unanimously by both the House of Delegates and State Senate.

The legislation requires every public and nonpublic school in Maryland to create a cardiac emergency response plan.

“Maryland lawmakers have taken a tremendous step toward protecting students, teachers, parents – anyone who spends time on school grounds – by passing the Bailey Bullock Act,” said Laura Hale, the American Heart Association’s Maryland Director of Government Affairs.

“This will save lives. Having a plan for what to do when someone has a cardiac emergency can be the difference between a student coming home from the hospital versus not surviving.”

Bailey’s mother, Patrice Bullock, testified in favor of the bill in February, along with former Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Terps wide receiver Torrey Smith, physicians and other parents.

“When Bailey went into cardiac arrest at his school, CPR was delayed for 8 minutes or more and he did not have a positive outcome,” Patrice Bullock said. “That’s an event I never want another parent, another mother, to experience. With the passage of the Bailey Bullock Act by the state legislature today, we’re a step closer to making that a reality.”

More than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen outside a hospital setting each year. Additionally, more than 23,000 children suffer cardiac arrest annually, with nearly 40% happening in conjunction with sports-related activities. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple the chance of surviving cardiac arrest.

“Adopting these policies is critical, especially given that sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death among young athletes,” said Ken Edmonds, Vice President, Government Relations & Public Policy for the National Football League, which along with the American Heart Association, is part of the Smart Heart Sports Coalition.

“When parents and guardians send their kids to school, they fully and rightfully expect them to be protected there, and return home when the day is done. This legislation will make the places where young people play and compete safer, more resilient, and better prepared to respond to a cardiac emergency.”

Sen. Ben Brooks (Baltimore County) and Del. Jessica Feldmark (Howard County) were lead sponsors of the legislation.


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

About the Smart Heart Sports Coalition

Founded in March 2023 in response to the life-saving emergency response and care provided to Buffalo Bills Safety Damar Hamlin, the Smart Heart Sports Coalition seeks to drive the adoption in all 50 states of three evidence-based policies proven to prevent fatalities from Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) among high school students and in school communities.

  • Clearly-marked AEDs at or within minutes of each high school athletic venue where games, practices, or other events are held;
  • An athletic Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that is specific to each athletic venue, and posted, widely-distributed, regularly rehearsed, and updated annually, if needed; and
  • Education in CPR, including AED use, for coaches and other key personnel.

The coalition is comprised of nearly 40 organizations, including major sports leagues and organizations, as well as leading patient and health advocacy groups across the country.