Wimberly & Garcia Bill to Require Defibrillators at Youth Athletic Events Advanced by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assembly Democrats Benjie Wimberly and Carmelo Garcia sponsored to save lives by requiring local recreation departments, youth serving organizations and camps to have automated external defibrillators for youth athletic events was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.
“We know defibrillators save lives,” said Wimberly (D-Passaic/Bergen). “With these devices readily available, we need to ensure they’re there when we need them. It’s tragic to think that a life could have been saved had a defibrillator simply been present. Let’s ensure that never happens.”
“This is a common sense bill, but also the moral thing to do,” said Garcia (D-Hudson). “Defibrillators save lives. It’s that simple, and to not have them on-site when needed in this day and age is unacceptable.”
The bill (A-1392) requires municipal or county recreation departments and nonprofit youth serving organizations – such as Little Leagues, Babe Ruth Leagues, Pop Warner Leagues, Police Athletic Leagues and youth soccer leagues – that organize, sponsor or are otherwise affiliated with youth athletic events that are played on municipal, county, school, or other publicly-owned fields, to ensure that there is available on site an AED at each youth athletic event and practice held on the department’s or organization’s home field.
The department or organization is required to designate one or more umpires, coaches or licensed athletic directors who will be present at the athletic event or practice to be responsible for ensuring that the AED is available on site. The designated umpire, coach, or licensed athletic director is required to be trained in CPR and the use of an AED in accordance with current law.
Also, under the bill, a youth camp is required to ensure that there is an AED on site and available to the majority of the camp population within the timeframe recommended by the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association or other nationally-recognized association with expertise in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of an automated external defibrillator.
The youth camp director is to determine the placement of the AED based upon the camp population and the activities conducted at the camp. The youth camp director is required to designate one or more counselors, licensed athletic directors, or other staff members to be responsible for ensuring that the AED is available when necessary at any field or facility.
The designated counselor, licensed athletic director, or staff member is required to be trained in CPR and the use of an AED in accordance with current law.
A recreation department, youth serving organization or youth camp will be deemed to be in compliance with the AED requirement if a state-certified emergency services provider or other certified first responder is on site at the athletic event or practice and has an AED available for use on site.
Finally, a recreation department, youth serving organization, youth camp and its employees, licensed athletic directors and volunteers will be immune from civil liability in the acquisition and use of an AED.
The bill was released by the Assembly Homeland Security and State Preparedness Committee.