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Most NYC Schools Still Have No Defibrillators

Eyewitness News learning of an alarming number tonight, 85 percent of New York City schools do not have a heart defibrillator.

Out of 1,200 schools, only 175 have defibrillators right now, and those are the high schools with athletic programs. Including South Bronx Campus High School.

The Department of Education says another 25 schools will get them later this month. But the state law says all schools were supposed to have defibrillators starting last December, nine months ago.

John Acompora, Louis Acompora Foundation: "As a parent I feel it has to be done."

John Acompora says there can be no more excuses in enforcing the state law passed in memory of his son Louis who died at age 14.

John Acompora: "Louis did not need to die on that field that morning, and no student in New York City schools, or anywhere else for that matter in the country, need to die from sudden cardiac arrest."

But New York City schools are still out of compliance. The issue turned tragic last January when three teens, including 13-year-old Randy Carlote, died of heart complications at schools with no defibrillator.

Today it's not clear when the life-saving devices will be available in all schools.

Peter Kerr, Dept. of Education: "We're aiming to get this done as quickly as possible, we realize the importance of this program. And many of the people throughout the schools realize the importance of this program."

So far, the city has purchased 2,500 defibrillators. One thousand have been distributed to coaches and trainers who volunteer for training. And another 275 will be distributed to school nurses and special education staffers.

At South Bronx Campus High School all the coaches are trained, and because of all the teams there are eight defibrillators.

Lewis Schlanger, Athletic Director: "Whether it's a practice, or a game, or a non-league game, or a scrimmage, the coach has the defibrillator with them ... God forbid."

The Department of Education says the process is more complicated than it sounds. For example, the teacher's union said it had to work up a scheduling of training, and also liability.

But again, only 175 schools have defibrillators, leaving hundreds of thousands of without access to this device.

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