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Bill Would Require Defibrillator on Every NJ Transit Train

Photo above, a New Jersey Transit train at a Newark Penn Station. (New Jersey Transit Photo)

All New Jersey Transit trains will be required to have resuscitation tools on board under a new law being proposed after a passenger suffered a deadly heart attack last week.

The man suffered the medical emergency on the rush hour train out of New York Penn Station on November 4 and died despite attempts by a doctor to revive him.

Not having resuscitation masks and automated external defibrillators on the train lengthened the response time, said New Jersey Assemblyman Daniel Benson.

Related: How the Peri-Shock Pause in Automated External Defibrillators Affects CPR

“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, the Assembly Transportation Committee chairman. “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, New Jersey Transit would be required to supply and maintain an AED on every train in operation. It would also require the defibrillator to be easily accessible 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.”