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Rural and Community Health Systems

Automated External Defibrillators

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Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are an essential tool in the treatment of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Over the years, the devices have become safer, more reliable and more maintenance free. The new technologies used in these devices make them suitable for use by anyone who has had basic training in their use.

AEDs are most effective when implemented as part of an overall strategy which considers each link in the "Chain of Survival:"

  • Early access to the emergency medical system (EMS and 9-1-1 system)
  • Early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Early defibrillation when indicated
  • Early advanced emergency treatment

In 1998 legislation was passed to redefine the use of an automated external defibrillator as a basic life support skill and provided, through the Good Samaritan Law, some immunity from civil liability to properly trained personnel who use AEDs in a resuscitation attempt and who activate the EMS system. The text of the statute is provided below.

Files of interest (click to download):

Approved Training Programs

In Alaska's Good Samaritan Law (AS 09.65.090) "properly trained" to use an AED means "that the individual has completed an automated external defibrillator training course from the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, or another automated external defibrillator training course approved by the Department of Health and Social Services."

The following programs have been approved by the Department of Health and Social Services in accordance with 7 AAC 26.585:

  • BLS for Health Care Providers-American Heart Association
  • CPR for the Professional Rescuer-American Red Cross
  • The CPR component of Medic First Aid-Advanced
  • Basic Life Support for Professionals (BLSPRO)-EMP America
  • CPR for the Professional Rescuer-American Safety & Health Institute
  • Layperson Training - CardioReady
  • EMS Safety Services - CPR/AED/First Aid for the Community Rescuer
  • Respond Systems AED/CPR

To request approval of an AED Training program the applicant must submit a written report that provides evidence of meeting the requirements set forth in 7 AAC 26.585. Requests are sent to:

Department of Health and Social Services
Division of Public Health
Section of Emergency Programs, EMS Unit
P. O. Box 110616
Juneau, AK 99811-0616