New Bill Aims to Help Placement of AED in Schools in New Jersey
The state of New Jersey made a bold move in recent months to ensure that those who suffered from sudden cardiac arrest would be saved from any other serious conditions. A bill already got cleared in committees in both the State Senate and the State Assembly and only waits for a full vote for both houses.
Bill S-167 or otherwise known as Janet’s Law requires all public and private schools with students from grades K to 12 to have readily-accessible automated external defibrillators (AEDs) on their premises as well as maintain the presence of it. Another provision on the said bill is a requirement for every school to have at least five employees who are certified to use CPR and AED. This bill was named after the late Janet Zilinski, a New Jersey student who collapsed and died during a school cheerleading practice in 2006. The legislation was created by Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Somerset-Morris. The parents of Janet, Karen and Jim Zilinski, already created The Janet Fund to be able to gather AEDs and donate it to schools in the state as well as in playfields
The Zilinkis advocated for the passage of Janet’s Law during their recent meetings with the state legislators. During the meeting, they presented facts that would help strengthen the chances of the bill getting passed as a law. They said that after the death of their daughter in 2006, more than 30 students died of sudden cardiac arrest as compared to the states with laws on AED in schools. According to them, dozens of students in New York, Ohio, and Texas were able to have their lives saved due to AED.
Different organizations has already supported Janet’s Law which include American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey, New Jersey Association of School Administrators, and New Jersey Education Association. Other organizations which support the bill are New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, New Jersey Recreation and Parks Association, New Jersey State School Nurses Association, Parent Heart Watch, and the Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes Foundation.
Aside from Janet’s Law, there is another AED legislation that is in the works in New Jersey. This bill is aimed to update the existing Public Access to Defibrillation Law and was already passed in the Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee of the New Jersey Senate in January. Like the Janet’s Law, it is also being considered by the full state Senate.
Under this bill, otherwise known as Good Samaritan Law, one provision calls for an extension on the protection of someone who uses an AED during emergency situation from any kind of civil liability.
In case that Janet’s Law becomes a state law, schools need proper AED program management as well as AED medical oversight to ensure that this portable device is well-taken care of. A good company to provide this is Citywide CPR Inc., which also provides trainings for different emergency situations. The company is available in various locations across United States.