A bill under consideration in Maryland would require restaurants to have an employee on the premises throughout business hours who could administer CPR, the Heimlich maneuver and other forms of first aid.
The server, busboy, manager or whoever is on call as first responder would have to prove with certification from the Red Cross or a similar agency that they knew how to save lives. The training would presumably be funded by the employer, though the bill doesn’t specify as much.
The measure, introduced by State Sen. Bobby Zirkin, a Democrat from Baltimore, would take effect Oct. 1.
Zirkin told local TV station WBAL that he was prompted to introduce the measure last week because a constituent had choked to death inside a restaurant. “Nobody knew what they were doing,” Zirkin is quoted as saying.
The local media hasn’t done much handicapping of the bill’s prospects. Nor has the Restaurant Association of Maryland commented on the measure via its website.
But it may be hard for the industry to argue against a measure that could save lives, even if there's a cost of a few hundred dollars.