HAMILTON, NJ -- After the tragic death of a passenger aboard a commuter train on Monday, a New Jersey lawmaker is calling for life-saving medical equipment on all NJTransit trains.
The call comes after Alfred Wood, Middletown, boarded the North Jersey Coast Line Train shortly after 5:00 p.m. and soon thereafter exhibited signs of a heart attack.
Despite receiving care from a doctor also riding the train, as well as the Amtrak Police Department and members of Emergency Management Services, Wood was unable to be revived.
The lack of life-saving devices, such as resuscitation masks and automated external defibrillators (AEDs), aboard the train is said to have lengthened the time of emergency response.
Benson's bill, introduced on Thursday, would require all NJ TRANSIT trains be equipped with defibrillators, and that appropriate procedures regarding maintenance and equipment use be put in place.
“In light of the recent incident, we may never know whether an AED would have helped, but we can't wait until the next tragedy to find out,” said Benson. “It needs to be the standard, not the exception, that resuscitation devices and AEDs are available onboard trains in the event of any and all medical emergencies.”
The bill would also require the defibrillator to be easily accessible for use and for an employee trained in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, and the use of defibrillators, to be present onboard at all times.
“While NJ TRANSIT trains are adhering to federal regulations and train stations are equipped with AEDs, we need to be accounting for the time in between stops where resuscitation devices are not immediately accessible,” said Benson. “When it comes to saving someone’s life, every minute counts.”
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