Bill would require all schools purchase AEDs

Life-saving device would also be required at all athletic events

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker is carefully reviewing a bill that would require all schools and athletic fields to have an automated external defibrillator- or AED- on site.

Families of children who died after suffering sudden cardiac arrest believe these machines have the potential to save lives when someone’s heart stops beating abruptly.

AEDs cost about $1,000 each. Under the bill, schools would each have to figure out a way to pay for the machines out of their own budget. The proposed law also requires schools to have a person who is trained to use an AED readily available at all athletic events.

Schools do have the option to apply for a hardship waiver if they cannot meet these requirements. Rep. John Velis (D-Westfield) said money should not matter when lives are on the line.

“At the end of the day, dollars and cents shouldn’t matter when we are potentially talking about saving kids’ lives. When these AEDs are present, kids’ lives are saved. When they’re not, kids are dying,” Velis said.

Governor Baker has 10 days to either reject the bill, or sign it into law.