EMS Support and Direction for Community Initiatives

CPR and AED Programs and Training

Most EMS systems serve as a point of contact for members of the public who request CPR training. EMS systems with systems in place to offer this training have the opportunity to step up their offerings to the community by providing more frequent training sessions, and by incorporating compression-only CPR and AED training.

Automated External Defibrillators


The 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC recommend the establishment of AED programs in public locations where there is a relatively high likelihood of witnessed cardiac arrest (airports, casinos, sports facilities). To maximize the effectiveness of these programs, it is important that programs include a high degree of organizing, planning, and training as well as establishment of a link with the EMS system.

The local EMS Medical Director is often the primary resource consulted about the feasibility and implementation details of community AED programs. As the medical director, there are several things that you can do to facilitate community programs. Many useful resources can be found online.

  • Provide information to community members about what an AED plan should entail.
  • Encourage the reporting of AED placements and their use to EMS, and put a system in place for management of this information.
  • Provide information about how to purchase and how to place an AED for public use.
  • Incorporate AED location documentation in Fire Department building inspections.
  • Celebrate survival successes annually and encourage support groups, EMS Week celebrations or on Valentine’s Day. Go Red for Women Day (goredforwomen.org) and Heart Month are all good times for getting the message out about SCA awareness, AED placement, and CPR training.
  • Collaborate with other agencies in your community (police departments, shopping mall security, schools and universities) to serve as a resource and ensure that a consistent public access defibrillation plan is followed by all in the community.