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Metra Weighs Putting Defibrillators On Trains

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Metra Train

(Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) – Metra is weighing whether to become the first commuter rail agency in the nation to put defibrillators aboard its trains.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports, there are differing points of view on the subject.

The case for defibrillators is simple for Metra board member Jack Schaffer.

“You get down to the old, ‘It saves one life,’” he said.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

But board member Jim LaBelle wonders about the precedent.

“If somebody is, say, diabetic, would they look at the defibrillator and think, ‘Well, gee, what about me?’” he said.

Metra could have used a defibrillator last year about 15 times, and other board members are factoring the life-saving capabilities against costs, both initial and ongoing.

Metra estimates purchase and installation costs, and training on use for conductors, at $905,000.

Ongoing maintenance and training costs are estimated at $220,000 yearly.

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