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New Law Requires Students to Learn CPR


August 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM

TRENTON, NJ - Two new laws are going into effect this fall that will require New Jersey students, administrators and teachers to be more prepared to deal with potential cardiac emergencies.

Both laws will take affect Sept. 1.

The first law, signed by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno Wednesday, requires all graduating high school seniors to pass a CPR course as part of their high school curriculum. According to a release, the American Red Cross and other organizations will be working with public and private school districts across the state to implement the new requirement.

According to a release, the Department of Education is working on regulations to implement the law, and New Jersey is one of only three states in the country to implement this law.

The second law is Janet's Law, which seeks to prepare schools in case of a sudden cardiac emergency. The law was enacted in memory of Janet Zilinski, an 11-year-old cheerleader from Warren who died in 2006 after she suffered cardiac arrest at her school.

The law requires that all school districts have an automatic external defibrillator on site, have at least five school employees certified in CPR/AED, have an emergency plan for a sudden cardiac event, have an AED in an accessible unlocked location; have signs directing people in the school to the AED, and have EMTs or other first responders at all events if trained employees are not available.

Janet's Law was signed into law in 2012, but schools were not required to be in compliance until Sept. 1. The American Red Cross, the release said, has been working with school districts to offer a solution that includes specific training in CPR and AED usage for coaches, instructors and administrators.