TRENTON, GA (WRCB)-  Thanks to the efforts of a retired nurse, CPR training is now required in high schools throughout Georgia.

Governor Nathan Deal made it official with his signature at Dade County High, where lifesaving is a skill already mastered by hundreds of students.

Freshmen at the school got something extra this year: the opportunity to learn life saving skills, including the Heimlich Maneuver, CPR, and the use of the aed (automated external defibrillator), the device that can treat life threatening cardiac issues. This was a first for the school.

But all this didn't just happen. A retired county nurse, Verniece Hawkins, saw the need, and went to State Senator Jeff Mullis, who helped get the bill passed in the legislature.  She's proof, that one person can make a difference.

Governor Deal said he was honored to sign the bill in the school where it all began. Georgia high schools must now, at minimum, show CPR training videos, and supporters hope it leads to more hands-on classes.  Dade County High is proud to have led the way, thanks to a lady who wouldn't take no for an answer.

Dade County Sheriff Ray Cross said this is one of the best thing that has happened to the school. As a result of this year's classes, more than two hundred 9th graders have learned life saving skills, and soon every student will graduate, knowing what to do in case of a life-and-death emergency.