Training is necessary for any business’ employees prior to using an AED.The Red Cross Adult CPR/AED training course can be completed in 4.5 hours, and you do not need to know adult CPR prior to taking it. The Red Cross AED course for professional rescuers can be completed in four hours, and requires that participants know how to perform adult CPR.

AEDs at work

Courts Plus Health and Fitness Centre, an Elmhurst Park District Facility, in Elmhurst, Ill., has had an AED since August1996. Says Pamela J. Stoike, manager of fitness and racquet sports at Courts Plus, “We purchased the AED for a number of reasons. In addition to my duties as the full-time manager of fitness and racquet sports, I am also a licensed paramedic. As a result, I knew that AED technology was available, and that AEDs were very easy to use. So easy to use that the lay person (someone with no medical training) could successfully use the device without a lot of advanced training and knowledge.”

Stoike also states that having an AED is about raising the standard of care within fitness facilities. “AEDs have the potential to save many lives, and [they] are already proving that lives are being saved,” she says.

Courts Plus knows that AEDs can save lives firsthand, since one was used at the facility to save a member. This past year, a 43-year-old man collapsed on the track. Staff members began two-person CPR and, when the AED arrived, they attached the pads to the man. The AED immediately advised a shock. After the second shock, the man had a pulse. At that time, the paramedics arrived and transported him to the hospital.

Says Stoike, “I am happy to report that he is doing quite well and is back at the club working out. Needless to say, he is quite grateful that our facility had an AED, and that he was given this second chance. As you can probably tell, I highly recommend the use of AEDs in fitness facilities.”

Although the Cooper Fitness Center in Dallas, Texas, doesn’t have a dramatic story to tell, it still has an AED, and recommends that other facilities have one, as well. Says Heather Henderson, program director, “The Cooper Fitness Center wants to provide a quick and efficient response to all emergencies. The AED allows our employees to do this. We follow the guidelines set forth by the American Heart Association, which strongly supports AEDs in public facilities. But, most importantly, it gives our members a feeling of safety.”