EAST BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- A lifesaving measure known as Janet’s Law, sponsored by state Sen. 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 arrest,” Singer said. “I am proud that after several years, we finally achieved this law in Janet Zilinski’s memory, assuring that her heartbreaking passing was not in vain.”
According to a press release, Singer introduced Janet’s Law (S-157) four years ago to require public schools and private schools to have automated external defibrillators (AEDs) on school grounds with trained operators at sports events.
As a result of Janet’s Law, all public schools and non-public schools, K-12, will have an automated external defibrillator on school property that is properly identified in an unlocked location beginning Sept. 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 fields or gymnasium, according to a press release.
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.