EMS: Public Access to Defibrillators
Automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) are lightweight, portable devices. They give an electric shock that can restore normal heart rhythm for someone whose heart stops (called cardiac arrest). Easy access to an AED has saved many lives.
What Wisconsin law says about AEDs
Wisconsin statutes allow places to buy, maintain, and use AEDs in a public setting. Examples of places include:
- Athletic facilities.
- Community health centers.
- Faith-based organizations.
- Libraries and other civic centers.
- Long-term care facilities.
- Older adult and day care facilities.
- Post offices.
- Rural health clinics.
Wisconsin Stat. § 895.48(4)(ag) gives civil immunity to certain people who use, own, and/or provide the public with access to AEDs. This means a layperson may use a public access AED to give emergency care to someone who appears to be in cardiac arrest. A layperson is not a trained emergency medical technician or emergency medical responder.