Montclair, NJ – Under two new laws that take effect September 1, Montclair High School students will be required to be prepared for cardiac emergencies.
On September 1, 2014, two new state laws go into effect that will have a direct impact on New Jersey students, teachers and administrators by requiring them to be more prepared for potential cardiac emergencies, such as heart attacks.
About 2,000 Americans under the age of 25 die of sudden cardiac arrest each year, according to a 2012 study in the journal Pediatrics. The American Red Cross believes that these two laws can help avoid unnecessary deaths in our schools and ensure that our high school students have the necessary training to help fellow citizens suffering from a cardiac emergency until trained medical help arrives.
The new CPR requirement for all graduating high school seniors in New Jersey will require them to pass a CPR course as part of their high school curriculum. The Red Cross and other organizations are working with the Montclair School Districts and other schools across the state to implement this requirement.
Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno signed the bill on August 20, 2014 that was sponsored by Senators Diane Allen (Cinnaminson) and Joseph Vitale (Woodbridge) and Assemblymen Angel Fuentes (Audubon) and Patrick Diegnan Jr. (South Plainfield). The bill was passed with broad bipartisan support. New Jersey is one of three states in the country to implement such a law with the others being Illinois and Oklahoma.
The Department of Education is working on regulations to support school districts in implementing the law with fidelity.
Consequently, The American Red Cross is offering school districts a series of trainings, action plans and access to automatic external defibrillators (AED) to help them comply with the new laws.
Residents can also sign up for a Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED class by visiting redcross.org and visit the “Take A Class” page. Group training can also be scheduled by filling out the request form on www.redcross.org/JanetsLaw.
The Implementation of Janet’s Law in New Jersey schools seeks to better prepare schools in case of a sudden cardiac emergency. The law was enacted to commemorate Janet Zilinski, an 11-year-old cheerleader from Warren, N.J. who died in 2006 after suffering sudden cardiac arrest at her school.
Janet’s Law requires all school districts (public and private) have:
o An AED (an automatic external defibrillators) on site;
o At least five school employees certified in CPR/AED;
o An emergency action plan for a sudden cardiac event;
o The AED located in an accessible, unlocked location (such as outside the school gym) with appropriate signage above the unit;
o Signs throughout the school directing people to the AED;
o EMTs or other first responders at all practices or events if trained school employees are not available.
Although signed into law in 2012, schools did not need to be in compliance until September 1, 2014. The Red Cross in New Jersey has been working with school districts to offer them a “one-stop solution,” that includes specific training in CPR and AED usage for coaches, instructors and administrators; emergency action plans that can be adapted for local needs; and access to AEDs. For more information, visit RedCross.org/JanetsLaw.
Montclair Public Schools have been working since last year to train staff, obtain AEDs in prepation for the new regulations.