Other NJ News

Watchung Hills High School Students Honored for Saving Classmate's Life

Andrew Zimmer and Emma Reedman with Principal Alexis and Superintendent Jewett Credits: B. Nemcek
A Life Saved in Warren: Board Recognizes Two WHRHS Students for Saving a Classmate.. Assemblyman Jon Bramnick Credits: B. Nemcek
A Life Saved in Warren: Board Recognizes Two WHRHS Students for Saving a Classmate.. celebration with cake Credits: B. Nemcek
A Life Saved in Warren: Board Recognizes Two WHRHS Students for Saving a Classmate...Andrew Zimmer and Emma Reedman Credits: B. Nemcek

WARREN, NJ –  Two Watchung Hills students who helped to save a classmate's life were recognized at the meeting of the Watchung Hills Board of Education on Tuesday.

WHRHS student Sarah Magaldo went into sudden cardiac arrest while on one of the events on the Project Adventure course on the morning of Jan. 19. Two students who had just completed EMT training, Andrew Zimmer and Emma Reedman, and Project Adventure teacher Thomas Loeffler started CPR until the AED arrived and could be administered. 

"The school resource officer Joe Casorio along with Mrs. Valerio and Mrs. Clark, the school nurses, were on the scene to assist until the ambulance arrived to take Sarah to Overlook Hospital. It was made clear by the doctors at Overlook that the actions of Andrew, Emma and Mr. Loeffler, Officer Casorio, Nurses Valerio and Clark had saved Sarah’s life. She is here," said WHRHS Board of Education president Bob Morrison.

Sign Up for E-News

Reedman has been a volunteer firefighter in Warren since ninth grade and also works with the Warren Township EMT. 

Zimmer was a junior member of Green Brook Fire EMS last year and in December, he joined the Bethel Fire Department as a probationary member.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs when the heart's electrical system malfunctions and the heart stops beating. It is fatal if not treated within a few minutes. Victims of SCA often appear healthy, and the situation usually happens with little or no warning, according to information from The Janet Fund.

If a SCA victim is defibrillated within the first minute of sudden cardiac arrest, chances of survival are close to 90 percent.  Every minute of delay in defibrillation reduces chances of survival.  

WHRHS Vice Principal Terry MacConnell was "eight feet away."

Superintendent Elizabeth Jewett said, "It is difficult to find the words to express my and the board’s gratitude to all of you who assisted in responding to this emergency incident.  I would like to acknowledge that student - Sarah Magaldo - and her family who are here with us tonight and we could not be happier that you have your health and a long life to look forward to."

The Magaldos expressed their thanks.

While this story had a happy ending, it brought to mind an earlier incident in the township that did not. On Aug. 10, 2006 11-year-old Janet Zilinski, a Warren resident, died due to sudden cardiac arrest following cheerleading practice. 

"Out of their unimaginable grief, Janet’s parent Karen and Jim, who are with us this evening, were committed to seeing that all schools and youth facilities were outfitted with the proper equipment and training that would keep another family from having to suffer this type of incredible loss," Morrison said.

Jim Zilinski addressed the board.

Assemblyman Jon Bramnick led the charge by introducing and ushering a bill through the state legislature that took more than six years, which was signed by Governor Christie on Sept 21, 2012 creating Janet’s Law. Janet’s law requires all public and non-public schools to have automated external defibrillators and calls for schools to establish emergency action plans to respond to sudden cardiac events, in order to be as prepared as possible to deal with life-threatening emergencies. 

The law went into effect for the 2014-2015 school year.

“We were successful and 16 lives have been saved since the law was passed,” said Bramnick (R-Union) whose 21st Legislative District includes Warren Township. “The quick thinking of those students saved yet another life. I want to thank the Zilinski family for their tireless efforts in passing a law that has saved lives. I’m proud to have worked with them.”

Two years ago the Mahal family donated several AEDs to Watchung Hills in Janet’s memory on the same evening as Watchung Hills adopted the school policy to implement Janet’s law.

"Now the unfortunate passing of Janet, who many of us consider very much a part of our class of 2013 and who would have been a college senior this year, has demonstrated how one families tragedy can lead to another families triumph," said Morrison. "Who could have ever imagined the implementation of the law in Janet’s name would play an important role in saving the life of one of our own students, Sarah Magaldo."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events

Sun, March 18, 7:00 PM

Temple Sholom of Scotch Plains, Scotch Plains

Louis Bamberger, NJ Philanthropist & Department ...

Education Religions And Spirituality

Mon, March 19, 5:30 PM


Taste of Middlesex

Food & Drink


Mon, March 19, 5:30 PM

Pines Manor, Edison

Taste of Middlesex

Food & Drink

Pre-Ticket Sale for Holy Savior Academy’s 4th Annual Spring Splendor Tricky Tray

Holy Savior Academy is hosting its Spring Splendor Tricky Tray Saturday, April 21, 2018 at the school.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are limited and will be sold at Holy Savior Academy, 149 South Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. (cash or checks)

BYOB and food- Admission $ 25 per ...

Police: Piscataway Teen Charged for Posting Threat on Social Media

March 16, 2018

PISCATAWAY, NJ – A 15-year-old Piscataway student is facing charges after investigators determined a social media post about a possible shooting at Piscataway High School was a credible threat, police officials said on Thursday. 

Piscataway police and school resource officers immediately began their investigation once they learned of the post on March 13, said police. They said ...

Franklin Student Escorted from School; Loaded Gun Found in Backpack

March 16, 2018

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - A 17-year-old high school student was escorted from school yesterday by police who found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol in his back pack along with narcotics, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Robertson said the initial investigation by law enforcement revealed that there were no known threats to the students or faculty; he commended the ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Student Set to Compete in Chinese Speech Contest

March 18, 2018

Stan DeLaurentiis of Plainfield, a junior at The Wardlaw + Hartridge School in Edison, has been selected as one of the final contestants to participate in the 13th Chinese Bridge Speech Contests for U.S. High School Students on March 31 at the Confucius Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

The onsite final competition will run from 9 a.m. to 1 ...