Resolution calling on New York State’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority to make automated external defibrillators available at every subway and Staten Island Railway station.
By Council Members Ulrich and Borelli
Whereas, According to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), New York City experiences higher than average instances of death by diseases of the heart, accounting for 17,125 deaths, or 31.6% of total deaths, in 2015; and
Whereas, According to the American Red Cross, an automated external defibrillator (AED) is the only effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during sudden cardiac arrest and is an easy to operate tool for someone with no medical background; and
Whereas, For each minute defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival is reduced by approximately 10 percent, and more than 95 percent of patients who receive defibrillation shock in the first minute of cardiac arrest survive; and
Whereas, To increase the likelihood of survival for those who experience cardiac arrest, New York State implemented legislation ensuring AEDs are available in public schools, locations hosting public school-sponsored athletic contests or practices, places of public assembly with a capacity of at least 1,000 people, and health clubs with 500 or more members; and
Whereas, New York City requires AEDs to be kept in many publicly-accessible locations, including public buildings maintained by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, at least six parks under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation in each borough, ferry terminals owned and operated by the City of New York served by ferry boats with a passenger capacity of one thousand or more persons, nursing homes, senior centers, golf courses, stadia, arenas, and health clubs that have a membership of at least 250 people; and
Whereas, Local Law 57 of 2016, as amended by Local Law 104 of 2016, created a requirement for AEDs to be present at youth baseball games and practices; and
Whereas, Local Law 57 was amended in May 2018 to include youth softball leagues; and
Whereas, According to the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), in 2017 New York City Transit, which includes the subways, had an average weekday ridership of 7.76 million and an annual ridership of 2.35 billion, while the Staten Island Railway had an annual ridership of 4.6 million; and
Whereas, According to a 2013 New York Daily News article the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Transit Bureau, which patrols subway stations, had only 60 defibrillators while the MTA police, which patrols the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Rail Road, and the Staten Island Railway, only had 65 defibrillators total; and
Whereas, Under Briana’s Law, every police officer in New York State is trained to operate an AED, yet not every station houses an AED; and
Whereas, In February 2017, two NYPD Transit officers were able to save the life of an unconscious woman by performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), yet had to wait minutes for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to provide an AED; and
Whereas, Other jurisdictions within the United States, such as the city of Atlanta, ensure AEDs are available at every train station; and
Whereas, New York State should ensure that all passengers on every subway line and at all 472 station stops have access to lifesaving AEDs, as well as passengers on the Staten Island Railway which is composed of 21 rail stations; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls on New York State’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority to make automated external defibrillators available at every subway and Staten Island Railway station.