(TRENTON) – The General Assembly approved on Monday bipartisan legislation sponsored in part by Assembly Democrats Annette Quijano and Timothy Eustace to require the board of education of any school district that maintains an automated external defibrillator to adopt a policy concerning the use of the device.
“Used responsibly and properly, defibrillators can save lives,” said Quijano (D-Union). “Staff and students should be fully aware of a defibrillator in the school and its proper use. This legislation helps to do just that.”
“Defibrillators have saved many students and teachers from tragic cardiac arrests incidents over the years,” said Eustace (D-Bergen, Passaic). “It is critical for school districts to set guidelines and provide instruction to staff and students on its use and prepare them for emergency situations.”
Under the bill, the policy is required at a minimum to incorporate:
- current guidelines developed by the American Heart Association concerning the proper use of defibrillators;
- address the location of the defibrillator and inform all staff an students of the location;
- require training in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and the use of a defibrillator for school nurses, athletic trainers, and any other staff members designated by the district;
- address the availability of the defibrillator during the school day and for extracurricular activities that occur at the school after school hours, and the presence of a staff person who is certified in the operation and use of the defibrillator whenever a public school building or athletic field is used for extracurricular activities;
- require that the defibrillator is maintained and tested according to the manufacturer’s operational guidelines;
- provide notification to the appropriate emergency first aid, ambulance, or rescue squad, or other appropriate emergency medical services provider of the type and location of the defibrillator;
- and provide all staff and students with information concerning sudden cardiac arrest, and the procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency.
The bill directs the policy is to be distributed to each staff person who is certified in the operation and use of the defibrillator, and posted in several locations in each school building in the district for review by all staff and students.
This bill was pre-filed for introduction in the 2014-2015 session pending technical review. As reported, the bill includes the changes required by technical review, which has been performed.
The measure was approved 80-0.