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Benson Introduces Bill to Require Defibrillators Onboard All NJ TRANSIT Trains

Measure Creates Provisions for Maintenance and Operation of Devices

(TRENTON) – On Monday, an NJ TRANSIT passenger suffered a heart attack onboard a rush hour train despite attempts by a doctor to revive him. The time delay in getting life-saving devices, such as resuscitation masks and automated external defibrillators (AEDs), aboard the train lengthened the time of emergency response.

Seeking to remedy lacking provisions in the case of medical emergency and prevent future tragedy, Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Daniel Benson introduced a bill on Thursday that would require all NJ TRANSIT trains be equipped with defibrillators, and that appropriate procedures regarding maintenance and equipment use be put in place.

“In light of the recent incident, we may never know whether an AED would have helped, but we can’t wait until the next tragedy to find out,” said Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex). “It needs to be the standard, not the exception, that resuscitation devices and AEDs are available onboard trains in the event of any and all medical emergencies.”

Under the bill, the New Jersey Transit Corporation would be mandated to supply and maintain an AED on every railroad train in operation. It would also require the defibrillator to be easily accessible for use and for an employee trained in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, and the use of defibrillators, to be present onboard at all times.

“While NJ TRANSIT trains are adhering to federal regulations and train stations are equipped with AEDs, we need to be accounting for the time in between stops where resuscitation devices are not immediately accessible,” said Benson. “When it comes to saving someone’s life, every minute counts.”