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New Law Mandates Defibrillators on School Grounds

The new automated external defibrillators law is named in honor of Janet Zilinksi of Warren who collapsed on school grounds in 2006.

A law requiring all K-12 public and non-public schools to have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on school grounds was signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie.

The law, known as Janet's Law, was sponsored by State Sen. Robert Singer who said he was glad to see four years worth of work brought to fruition.

"This action by the legislature and administration is long overdue to prevent tragic student-athlete deaths due to unexpected cardiac arrests," Singer said. "I am proud that after several years, we finally achieved this law in Janet Zilinski's memory, assuring her heartbreaking passing wasn't in vain."

The senator said that having the devices in the schools will go a long way without bringing a heavy price tag along with them.

"While we continue to hope such tragedies are rare, we've seen enough reports to know that the unpredictable can strike at any moment like during a jog at cheerleading practice," he said. "Swift access to AEDs can mean the difference between life and death."

The AEDs will be mandatory in schools for the start of the 2014 school year and must be accessible during the day and during after school activities.

School emergency action plans will also also have to list at least five school employees, coaches, or trainers who are certified in CPR and in the use of the devices according to Singer's officer. Emergency action plans will also list the person responsible who will respond to cardiac events and contacting emergency services.

Some local schools already have the devices in most, if not all, of their schools.

"AEDs are now affordable, user-friendly and necessary," Singer said. "For between $1,500 and $2,000, schools will be prepared to save students lives."

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