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Trains Equipped to Save Lives

Published: February 12, 2009

It is a tragic case of being at the wrong place at the very wrong time. In 2002, Dr. James R. Allen died after suffering a heart attack on a commuter train that lacked an automated portable defibrillator, or AED, a device used to jump-start the heart after cardiac arrest. Today’s riders may avoid a similar fate, thanks to Dr. Allen’s wife, Marlene, who spearheaded efforts to equip trains with the lifesaving units. Last week, she stood by as transportation officials described a new program that will place AEDs on 84 commuter rail trains operated by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. Conductors and assistant conductors will receive four hours of training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillator use on adults and children.

AEDs are becoming more common in airports, sports stadiums, and fitness clubs. Is an AED ready to keep your heart safe at work, school, and home?

For information to help improve AED access in your community, visit the American Heart Association at www.americanheart.org.

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