Man Dies on New Jersey Transit Train, Raising Questions About Whether Trains Should Have AEDs
The man was identified as 63-year-old Alfred Wood of New Jersey
A man who suffered a medical emergency died on a New Jersey Transit train on Monday, despite a doctor’s best efforts to save him.
The incident occurred on the No. 3363 train on the North Jersey Coast Line route just before 5 p.m., while passengers were boarding in New York City’s Penn Station, NJ.com reported.
The man reportedly told another passenger he was feeling unwell, and that passenger alerted a conductor, who put out a call for a doctor.
A doctor responded before Amtrak police and emergency medical services arrived, and was able to briefly revive the man, who suffered an apparent heart attack, before he died.
The victim was identified as Alfred Wood, 63, of Middletown, New Jersey, an Amtrak spokesperson told PEOPLE. He was an operations manager at NYU Langone, and is survived by his wife and daughter, according to his obituary.
The spokesperson said that an automatic external defibrillator was brought to the scene and used.
“Every Amtrak train that has a café/dining car has an AED store within that dining hall,” he said. “And then any station that has [an] Amtrak Police Department, they have an AED as well.”
RELATED VIDEO: What’s The Difference Between Cardiac Arrest & Heart Attack?
The incident sparked outrage online over the lack of an AED, which are not required on NJ Transit trains as per Federal Railroad Administration standards, an NJ Transit spokesperson told PEOPLE.
“If @njtransit really wants to be a leading example of public transport, they would be ahead of the curve, have AED (and other safety equipment) on board all trains,” Twitter user @NMeldrew wrote.
Another Twitter user claimed to have witnessed the medical emergency, and said that when the doctor working on the man asked the conductor if he had a ventilation mask, he was told no.
“How is @NJTRANSIT not equipped for medical emergencies like this?” @RetepM82 wrote.
Officials with the FRA confirmed that defibrillators are not required on board, but that some emergency equipment is, like first aid kits, and, for crew members, fire extinguishers, pry bars and flashlights, NJ.com reported.
Officials told the outlet that AEDs are not required because commuter railroads only travel “relatively short distances” between stations, and also have procedures in place in which crew members can call for EMS to meet a train at the next station or railroad crossing if assistance is needed.
The officials reportedly added that states and localities can adopt additional requirements so long as they stay consistent with federal regulations.