WEST ORANGE, NJ - Beginning September 1, incoming ninth grade high schoolers will be required to take CPR courses to graduate.
This new law, along with Janet's Law requiring defibrillators in all schools, is a move towards better preparation for potential cardiac emergencies, including heart attacks, health conditions, and sports related injuries. The American Red Cross will provide trainings, action plans and access to AEDs (Automatic External Defibrillators).
The Red Cross estimates that approximately 2,000 Americans under 25 die as a result of sudden cardiac arrest every year, in a study published in 2012 by the Jour of Pediatrics. With the presence of defibrillators in all schools and required CPR training for all high school seniors in order to graduate, the Red Cross hopes to see a reduction in the number of deaths and prevent many more. The survivial rate may double or triple with the use of CPR.
Bill A2072 signed into law on August 20, 2014 by Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno. The bill was sponsored by Senators Diane Allen (Cinnaminson),Joseph Vitale (Woodbridge),Assemblymen Angel Fuentes (Audubon) and Patrick Diegnan Jr. (South Plainfield), receiving wide bipartisan support. The NJ Department of Education is currently crafting regulations for the law's implementation.
To date, only New Jersey, Illinois and Oklahoma have passed such a CPR law.
Janet’s Zilinski was an 11-year-old cheerleader from Warren, N.J. who suffered cardiac arrest at school in 2006 and died. Janet's Law requires all public and private schools to have AEDs on site.
At least five school employees in each school must be certified in CPR/AED; each schoolmust have an emergency action plan regarding sudden cardiac arrests; AEDs must be placed in accessible, unlocked locations with signs directing people to their locations; and EMT and other first responders must be present at any event if trained school personnel are not available.
Currently All West Orange Public School have complied with this law, and several of the schools have multiple AEDs.