Life-saving measure “Janet’s Law,” sponsored by Senator Robert Singer, R-Monmouth, Ocean, has been signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie.
“This action by the legislature and administration is long overdue to prevent tragic student-athlete deaths due to unexpected cardiac arrests,” Singer said. “I am proud that after several years, we finally achieved this law in Janet Zilinski’s memory, assuring her heartbreaking passing wasn’t in vain.”
Senator Singer introduced Janet’s Law (S-157) four years ago to require public and private schools to have automated external defibrillators (AEDs) on school grounds with trained operators at sports events.
“This is a relatively small requirement forNew Jersey’s schools to save lives,” Singer said. “While we continue to hope such tragedies are rare, we’ve seen enough reports to know that the unpredictable can strike at any moment like during a jog at cheerleading practice. Swift access to AEDs can mean the difference between life and death.”
As a result of Janet’s Law, all public and non-public schools, K-12, will have an automated external defibrillator on school property that is properly identified in an unlocked location beginning September 1, 2014. The defibrillator must be accessible during the school day as well as during school-sponsored athletic events or team practices and within reasonable proximity to the school athletic field or gymnasium.
A school’s emergency action plan must contain a list of at least five school employees, team coaches or athletic trainers who have certifications in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and the use of a defibrillator from either the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or other training program recognized by the New Jersey Department of Health. Further, the detailed response procedure must identify the appropriate school official responsible for responding to the person experiencing the sudden cardiac event, calling 911, starting cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, retrieving and using the defibrillator, and assisting emergency responders in getting to the individual experiencing the sudden cardiac event.
“AEDs are now affordable, user-friendly and necessary,” Singer concluded. “For between $1,500 and $2,000, schools will be prepared to save students lives.”