Chicago trains to get defibrillators

Second major transit system to make machines available

Published On: Dec 28 2012 09:36:34 AM EST

The Chicago-area’s Metra commuter rail service is installing hundreds of portable, easy-to-use defibrillators on all of its trains, becoming only the second major transit system in the country to make the lifesaving machines available on trains, Metra officials said Thursday.

Rail agency Metra has received a grant to install 300 automatic external defibrillators in commuter trains.

Defibrillators, devices that restore a normal heart rhythm with an electric shock, are required on airliners and in public places such as sports stadiums and large office buildings. But cost, lack of training and liability fears have prevented a greater need of machines that advocates say are crucial to improving a poor survival rate for people who suffer cardiac arrest.

Officials say all of the defibrillators should be installed by the end of January.