Northwestern, Metra partner to install defibrillators for riders - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Northwestern, Metra partner to install defibrillators for riders

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Metra and Northwestern Medicine announced a plan Thursday morning that could save lives.

They will install automatic external defibrillators on most trains.

The partnership calls for 425 of the portable, easy-to-use devices – 300 on trains and another 125 throughout Metra facilities and police vehicles.

Chicago will become only the second metro area in the nation to have the defibrillators available for use in the event a passenger suffers a cardiac arrest on commuter trains.

In 2009, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter trains became the first in the U.S. to be equipped with automated external defibrillators.

Defibrillators are required on airliners and in public places such as sports stadiums. But cost and lack of training have prevented a greater proliferation.

A $536,000 grant from the Regional Transportation Authority is helping to pay for Metra's defibrillators.

Metra Chairman Brad O'Halloran says he hopes staff will never have to use the machines but that it's important to make them available if needed.

The Associated press contributed to this report.

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