On Friday, Metrolink announced that it has installed Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) on all trains operating in the agency’s six-county service region and is providing hands-on and online resources to demonstrate the life saving technology to employees, riders and the public. An AED is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses certain life-threatening cardiac conditions and treats them through the application of electricity. Metrolink posted a Red Cross AED demonstration video to its web site. To view click here.
Working on a parallel path in Sacramento, in 2018 the California Legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 502, which required installation of AEDs on commuter rail systems in California by July 1, 2020.
“The quick use of an AED can save a person’s life in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest and having them on trains maintains safety for all rail passengers,” said SB 502’s author, State Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge). “I commend the Metrolink Board of Directors for starting the process to install AEDs even before SB 502 became law.”
In April 2018, the Metrolink Board of Directors authorized the expenditure of $207,600 for the purchase and installation of the 57 AEDs.
“At Metrolink safety is foundational and the installation of AEDs nearly 18 months before the state deadline fulfills our commitment to keeping our system as safe as possible,” said Metrolink Board Chair Brian Humphrey.
According to the American Heart Association, each year in the United States, more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of a hospital setting and administering a shock from an AED within the first minute can save 9 in 10 victims.
“Time is critical for a person having a cardiac arrest and, at their fastest, paramedics can take 8 to12 minutes to reach a person in crisis,” said Dr. Ray Matthews, board member of the American Heart Association (AHA) Los Angeles Division and chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Keck Medicine of USC. “AEDs are designed to be used by persons with little or no training and have audible step-by-step directions. The quick use of Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and an AED can make the difference in saving a person’s life.”
February is American Heart Month and AHA encourages people to be trained in CPR and use of AEDs. AHA training resources can be found at heart.org/handsonlycpr.
“We want to ensure the safety of our riders and our team members and that is why we have partnered with the powerful resources of the American Heart Association and the American Red Cross,” said Metrolink CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “AEDs can be found on our trains, in the workplace, in restaurants and many places. Knowing how to correctly use an AED can turn anyone into a life-saving hero.”