State transportation leaders today announced the availability of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) on the MBTA commuter rail fleet.
The installation of 84 AEDs, one per train, represents a significant investment of resources into this vital safety system by the MBTA and MBCR. To date, over thirty AEDs have been installed on trains to protect passenger safety. The entire fleet will be equipped by the end of spring.
"Customer safety is our top priority in transportation and in this case that means more than just providing well-maintained equipment and employing the best people," says James Aloisi, Jr. "These required defibrillators will help respond to potentially catastrophic situations and will save lives."
Remarking on the added safety component that defibrillators will provide commuter rail customers, MBTA General Manager said, “We want our customers whether traveling 50 miles to Fitchburg, or 44 miles to Worcester – to feel relaxed, stress free, and confident that we are tuned in to their needs and are committed to providing premiere customer service.”
In addition to installing AEDs throughout the system, MBCR will provide their conductors and assistant conductors with 4 hours of training in CPR and AED use on adults and children.
“MBCR has worked closely with the MBTA to provide this important life safety equipment which will improve safety for commuter rail customers,” said Richard A. Davey, MBCR’s general manager. “AEDs are a proven technology that can save somebody’s life in the event of sudden cardiac arrest.”
AEDS devices are designed to analyze heart rhythms and advise operators to deliver a shock to victims of sudden cardiac arrest, the leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 325,000 people each year.
"I am very pleased that the MBTA has taken this important step in ensuring the safety of its riders, said State Senator Scott Brown. “With tens of thousands of my constituents using public transportation to and from work every day, I know the simple addition of accessible AEDs could be the difference between life and death for any one of us.”
“Had such a device been available on commuter rail trains a few years ago, James Allen might still be with us, said State Representative Alice Peisch. . “His widow, Marlene, has been a tireless advocate for installing defibrillators on the trains. We see today the results of her work, which should go a long way toward insuring that others will not experience a similar loss.”