Defibrillators could be coming to Massachusetts schools

First responders said it could save precious time

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – A bill is on Governor Charlie Baker’s desk to place portable defibrillators in schools throughout Massachusetts.

The state legislature has approved a bill which would require all schools and athletic fields to have an Automated External Defibrillator, or AED, on hand. First responders told 22News when someone needs a defibrillator, you have to act fast.

“It makes all the difference in the world.” said South Hadley Fire Captain Jim Pula. “The quicker you can get defibrillation on a person that needs defibrillation, the better. I mean, seconds count.”

Captain Pula said teachers and staff that are CPR certified probably already know how to use an AED, but today’s devices are designed to talk to the user, so anyone can operate it in an emergency. Parents told 22News if such a simple device could save a child’s life, it should be in schools.

“Nowadays, they’re like this portable little package; it’s like carrying a lunchbox in the old days, and it can save peoples lives. It’s just smart to do it,” said Michael Sutherland of Chicopee.

Governor Baker has 10 days to sign the bill into law.