News Release
   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

Christine Grant

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Department of Health and Senior Services Announces Completion of $1.3 Million Defibrillator Program for EMS Squads

Trenton - Health and Senior Services Commissioner Christine Grant today announced that through the New Jersey Emergency Medical Technician training fund, the Department has allocated $3,000 to squads in various townships for the purchase of approximately 448 defibrillators statewide at a cost of $1.3 million.

According to Health and Senior Services Commissioner Christine Grant, the $1.3 million initiative enables squads to purchase one defibrillator and two necessary training machines.

"Defibrillators are the most effective tool available to assist victims of sudden cardiac arrest," said Commissioner Grant. "The EMT Training Fund Defibrillation program enables the state to provide volunteer first aid, rescue and ambulance providers in New Jersey with one more tool to assist them in their tireless pursuits to protect and save the lives of countless New Jersey residents."

AEDs are phonebook-sized, battery-powered devices that evaluate a patient's heart rhythm, generate and deliver an electric charge to someone whose heart has stopped, and then re-evaluates the heart. The AEDs provide both voice and visual prompts that lead users through each rescue step.

"A quick response to a cardiac arrest using a defibrillator and cardiopulmonary resuscitation gives cardiac arrest victims the best chance for survival and a complete recovery," said Health and Senior Services Deputy Commissioner Dr. George DiFerdinando. "This program furthers the Department's continued efforts to ensure volunteer first aid, rescue or ambulance providers are equipped with automated external defibrillators (AEDs) which means more lives can be saved."

In August of 2000, 146 police, fire and first aid squads received a total of 156 AED's through a $500,000 special appropriation in the FY2000 budget. The goal of that program was to distribute defibrillators for first responders, those who typically arrive first at the scene of a medical emergency.

For a complete list of EMS squads receiving defibrillators through this program, please visit the Department of Health and Senior Services website at

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