NEW YORK CITY — A new bill would require the city to provide free life-saving defibrillators at all youth softball games.
A law passed in May already requires the city to provide free defibrillators (AED) to youth baseball teams playing on city-owned fields. Last week's bill introduced by city council members Steven Matteo, Corey Johnson and Stephen Levin would extend that.
"Our first legislation to provide AEDs to little leagues set a critical precedent but, as we said at the time of its passage earlier this year, it was just the beginning," Matteo said in a statement.
"This new bill is the logical next step in our efforts to expand access to these indispensable lifesaving devices to all New Yorkers, particularly those who are most vulnerable."
The bill would also extend the defibrillator rules to girls softball leagues.
The city would have to provide free AED training to coaches and umpires to treat anybody who suffers cardiac arrest, the leading cause of death among youth athletes.
Leagues would have to bring the portable AED — which re-establishes normal heart contractions after a cardiac arrest — to every softball game and practice and have a person trained in its use present, the council members said.
"Access to a portable AED device can be the difference between life and death," Levin said.