CPR Guidelines In New Jersey

CPR Guidlines In New Jersey

Every citizen should be familiar with Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and Basic Life Support (BLS) techniques that can save lives. In the state of New Jersey these skills are taught in high schools and are mandatory for certain professionals, such as teachers, emergency workers, first responders, and more.

In this article, we will analyze CPR guidelines in New Jersey and the state laws regarding bystanders involved in providing emergency help, such as CPR. Also, we will look at the current situation regarding mandatory CPR training and certification in New Jersey, including all the key information and resources.

CPR Certification Is a Prerequisite for Safe Communities

Recently in New Jersey, the debate about who should learn and get CPR certification was again in the spotlight. Following the tragic death of a 12-year-old student who collapsed during football practice, the public is wondering what can be done to prevent such tragedies in the future.

The boy’s family is sure that if the coaches and staff had been trained to perform CPR, the boy’s life could have been saved. While all schools in the state of New Jersey are required to provide automated external defibrillators (AED) and CPR-certified staff during sports games and practices, that is not the case with independent leagues and organizations.

The boy’s mother was informed about the tragic incident by phone, and one of the coaches apologized to her that no staff member was CPR certified, she claimed in a statement for the media. Even though the official examination did not reveal that CPR could have helped, the need for a quick reaction from bystanders and staff is still encouraged.

Introduction of CPR and AED in High Schools

Several laws in New Jersey have been passed to regulate the education for lifesaving skills in all high schools, public and non-public. This regulation covers the health curriculum as well as the CPR requirements for teachers and staff.

Also, the regulation covers public safety protocols and procedures during sports events, such as the usage of necessary AED equipment available at all times.

High School Students Must Receive CPR Instruction

New Jersey is one of the 43 US states with mandatory CPR and AED classes for high school students. Starting from the school year 2014-2015, students are required to learn CPR and how to use defibrillators to graduate.

The law is mandatory for all high schools, which are required to provide hands-on training for every student before graduation. However, the classes don’t have to include all victims’ ages.

Every student must attend the CPR classes as part of the Core Curriculum and the instruction is modeled after the courses and standards of the AHA, the ARC, or any other nationally recognized institution. Students can acquire practical knowledge of life-saving skills making them better equipped to deal with medical emergencies.

The Tragedy that Changed the State

The tragedy of Janet Zilinski, an 11-year-old cheerleader from Warren, NJ, changed the public perception and influenced the regulation of AED placement in public spaces.

Janet suffered an SCA on the school football field during her cheerleading practice. There wasn’t an AED unit available at the school, and Janet succumbed to the consequences of the cardiac arrest later at the hospital.

The Zilinski family started a foundation in her name and lobbied for new regulation, now known as Janet’s Law, that sees every high school place AED available during sporting events.

Besides the efforts to put the law through the state Legislature, the Zilinski family and their foundation have donated more than 150 automated defibrillators to school teams, and helped train more than 1500 people with basic CPR. Their work has saved the lives of 19 children so far, and continues to be the gift that keeps on giving.

AED Placement Requirements in New Jersey

Following the school tragedies and public outcry, every high school in the state of New Jersey is required under Janet’s Law to place automated external defibrillators in close proximity to the gym or athletic field.

The AED must be unlocked, placed under a clear sign, and available during school days or sporting events. During the event or practice, it is mandatory for CPR and AED-trained personnel from the school or coaching staff, or professional EMTs or first responders to be present on the site in case of emergency.

Every school must develop an Emergency Action Plan. This includes detailed procedures about the individuals that will operate the AED, will perform CPR, call 911, and who will assist the first responders during the crisis.

CPR is Mandatory for Certain Professions

The state law of New Jersey requires some professions to have mandatory CPR training and certification, mainly in the public and health sectors.

For businesses, the requirements arise from their fields of work, such as health and fitness, large entertainment facilities, and leisure. Also, the number of employees makes a difference. Large companies need employees trained in CPR and the usage of defibrillators.

This is an overview of some of the professions with mandatory CPR certification.


      • High school employees. Health teachers, high school athletic coaches, school staff.

      • Medical professionals. Nurses, pharmacists, hospital staff, dentists.

      • Emergency services. EMTs, paramedics, first responders, search and rescue

      • Sports and leisure. Lifeguards, fitness trainers, golf course employees, amusement parks staff

    CPR Mandates for High School Teachers

    The teachers in New Jersey high schools must have an Adult, Child, and Infant Pediatric CPR, AED, and First Aid certification.

    Teachers are not required to acquire CPR certification for licensure, but some school districts demand hands-on training. Online CPR, BLS, and First Aid courses are also acceptable if the providers adhere to national standards.

    CPR Requirements for New Jersey Coaches

    Every athletic coach in New Jersey, under the organization of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, must have valid CPR/First Aid certification.

    For this purpose, online courses are not eligible, so the athletic coaches need to obtain CPR/First Aid certificates through hands-on training. They can attend combined courses, and renew their certificate every two years.

    CPR/First Aid Basics for Personal Trainers

    Personal trainers have been added to the mandatory CPR/First Aid training list and certified through courses that follow the standards of the American Heart Organization.

    The American Council on Exercise (ACE), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), are among the organizations that require personal trainers to obtain CPR/First Aid certificates.

    Good Samaritan Laws and Bystander Liability

    You never know when you might find yourself in an emergency and you’ll probably hesitate about what to do. In that case, the New Jersey Good Samaritan laws ensure you will not be held accountable for providing CPR to the victim.

    If the provided care is in good faith, and you provide immediate help, CPR, and use of AED to help someone, you won’t be held accountable regardless of the outcome. This way, the state encourages bystanders to provide medical assistance by providing them with legal protection.

    This law protects emergency care providers regarding their medical training, off-duty medical professionals, volunteer EMTs, and first responders that find themselves on the scene. The law also includes paid professionals that act in an official capacity.

    However, the victims can sue if they sustain significant consequences by bystanders who deliberately acted negligently during the emergency aid.

    Lessons Learned and Future Considerations

    By including schools and companies in mandatory CPR training, the state of New Jersey is trying to increase the number of certified individuals who can act as good Samaritans in case of emergency.

    According to the American Heart Association, almost 100,000 deaths could be prevented each year if automated external defibrillators were more widely available in public spaces such as sport and leisure facilities.

    Recommended steps include more resources for hands-on training for students and staff and expanding the courses with more detailed points of CPR techniques and AED maintenance, and proper handling. This can be challenging for many school districts that are facing budgetary constraints.

    Recent events showed that outside of high school, students are not entirely protected because of the lack of regulation of private sports institutions and organizations.

    Even if you don’t fall under the categories we mentioned, it’s never too late to prepare yourself. Many certified providers follow the standards recommended by the AHA and offer CPR certification in Newark, NJ.

    It’s better to be prepared than sorry, so more and more people are encouraged to get CPR certification. And if you consider the CPR Guidelines In New Jersey, you see that being CPR and AED-trained is a valuable, life-saving skill.