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


Union Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Fatally Stabbing Father

March 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – The Union man accused of stabbing his father to death and setting the home on fire last May has been sentenced to 25 years in state prison, announced acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan on Monday.

Jeffrey Adams, 21, must serve at least 85 percent of that term before the possibility of parole, in accordance with New Jersey’s No Early Release Act, under the ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update, Feb. 13

March 14, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

Last week’s back to back nor’easters left a wave of destruction that Westfield hasn’t experienced since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Three thousand homes lost power. Over 40 roads were closed due to downed wires and/or trees. Our police responded to ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, March 23, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice


Sun, March 25, 11:00 AM

Shackamaxon Country Club, Scotch Plains

Hear Our Voices: MemoryCare Plays

Health & Wellness

Westfield Police Blotter: DWI, Reported Fraud & More

March 14, 2018

March 7, 2018 2:06 a.m.

Carlos C. Mendoza, age 33, of Garwood, NJ, was arrested on the strength of three Westfield Municipal Court warrants ($750) pursuant to a traffic stop in the area of South Avenue in Scotch Plains. Subject was transported to Westfield Police HQ where he was processed and refused after posting bail.


March 9, 2018 2:09 p.m.

A resident of Sandra Circle ...

Christopher Dean Band to Play at Westfield Memorial Library

March 19, 2018

The Christopher Dean Band will play at the Westfield Memorial Library on Wednesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m. The library is located at 550 East Broad Street.

The Christopher Dean Band is a regional blues/soul band based out of the Central New Jersey area, working up and down the East coast year round. Christopher Dean fronts the group, playing guitar and singing lead vocals.

Dean, who was ...

Gratitude Goes to the Girls! Mindful Monday Series - # 1

March 19, 2018

I am thrilled to launch our first edition of "Mindful Mondays" today!  Why Mindful Mondays? After several years of working with individuals in a variety of settings, many have asked me: "What's all this mindfulness about anyway?"  I often respond with, "It's different for everyone," but in general I begin with this definition ...

16 Homes Sold Last Week in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside & Cranford

Sixteen homes sold last week, March 11 to March 18, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Mountainside and Cranford:*


TOWN        ADDRESS                  STYLE           RMS    ...

Charitable Spirit Alive and Well in Westfield Public Schools

Students, staff and parents in Westfield Public Schools continue the district’s long tradition of helping others both in and outside of the community, with a number of students recently recognized for their efforts.

Fifteen Westfield High School juniors and sophomores were honored by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey for collecting more than 5,000 pounds of food items for families in ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


The Day After

Some years ago, the United Nations held the International Summit on Sustainable Development, here in Johannesburg. The Summit was a great success. One wonders, though, whether all the wonderful decisions and resolutions that were adopted were ever implemented. In other words, were they themselves sustainable?

Good ideas and worthwhile projects are suggested regularly. The question is, do they ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Profit from Recent Volatility with Stock Market Bargains

Markets retreated in February, the worst down month in two years. A record surge in volatility caused several ETFs designed as leveraged bets on low volatility to plunge, with at least one being forced to liquidate and hand its investors a near total loss.

The Causes of February’s Market Retreat

The initial catalyst for the sell off was inflation. The January jobs report showed ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Suspended Hillsborough HS Athletic Director Charged with Theft

March 19, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ — Suspended Hillsborough High School Athletic Director Michael Fanizzi has been arrested and charged with the theft of $10,704 in athletic event receipts over a four-year period from 2013-2017, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Fanizzi, 53, a resident of Conover Way in Hillsborough who had been athletics director for 14 years, had been ...