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Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, AED programs must adhere to maintenance, training, EMS activation, and post-use reporting standards. The Good Samaritan law shields AED owners and trained users, though untrained users, CPR/AED trainers, and AED program medical directors are excluded from its protection. Immunity hinges on compliance with administrative and operational requirements outlined in state laws. Pennsylvania mandates AED placement in health clubs, assisted living facilities, and coal mines.

Pennsylvania Law Key Takeaways

Requirement

Summary

Good Samaritan Law
Liability protection is granted to individuals who acquire, maintain, or utilize an AED in good faith during emergencies, safeguarding them from legal repercussions unless their actions involve intentional harm or gross negligence toward the recipient of AED treatment.
AED Training
An AED acquirer must ensure that expected AED users receive training.
AED Maintenance
AED acquirers must maintain and test the AED according to the manufacturer's operational guidelines.
EMS Contact
Acquirers AED users to immediately contact EMS in an emergency. Acquirers should provide EMS personnel with information as requested.
Health Clubs
Each health club is mandated to have a certified individual present during operational hours, equipped with CPR training to administer aid as necessary.
Schools
Encouraging the placement of at least one AED within school premises is emphasized, aiming to enhance safety measures. Additionally, recommendations for fund allocation policies and potential funding sources are provided to ensure both public and private schools have equitable access to AEDs, promoting a proactive approach to emergency preparedness.
Mines
In accordance with safety protocols, mine operators, in consultation with emergency medical technicians, are required to ensure the availability of at least one AED in specific locations for emergency use. These locations include an area near the mine entry on the surface, alongside first aid equipment storage, and within each working section, positioned within 1,000 feet from the active working face or faces, also adjacent to first aid equipment storage. This mandate aims to enhance emergency response readiness and safeguard the well-being of personnel in mining operations.

Pennsylvania Statutes and Regulations

(a) General rule. — Except as otherwise provided in this section, any individual who is trained to use an automated external defibrillator in accordance with subsection (c) and who in good faith uses an AED in an emergency shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any acts or omissions by such individual in using the AED, except any acts or omissions intentionally designed to harm or any grossly negligent acts or omissions which result in harm to the individual receiving the AED treatment.

(b) Requirements. — Any person who acquires and maintains an AED for use in accordance with this section shall not be liable for civil damages provided that the person:

(1) Ensures that expected AED users receive training pursuant to subsection (c).

(2) Maintains and tests the AED according to the manufacturer’s operational guidelines.

(3) Provides instruction requiring the user of the AED to utilize available means to immediately contact and activate the emergency medical services system.

(4) Assures that any appropriate data or information is made available to emergency medical services personnel or other health care providers as requested.

(c) Training. — For purposes of this section, expected AED users shall complete training in the use of an AED provided by the American National Red Cross or the American Heart Association or through an equivalent course of instruction approved by the Department of Health in consultation with a technical committee of the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council.

(d) Obstruction of emergency medical services personnel. — Nothing in this section shall relieve a person who uses an AED from civil damages when that person obstructs or interferes with care and treatment being provided by emergency medical services personnel or a health professional.

(e) Exception. — Any individual who lacks the training set forth in subsection (c) but who has access to an AED and in good faith uses an AED in an emergency as an ordinary, reasonably prudent individual would do under the same or similar circumstances shall receive immunity from civil damages as set forth in subsection (a).

(f) Definitions. — As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

“Automated external defibrillator” or “AED.” A portable device that uses electric shock to restore a stable heart rhythm to an individual in cardiac arrest.

“Emergency.” A situation where an individual is believed to be in cardiac arrest and in need of immediate medical attention to prevent death or serious injury.

“Good faith.” Includes a reasonable opinion that the immediacy of the situation is such that the use of an AED should not be postponed until emergency medical services personnel arrive or the person is hospitalized.

(a) General rule. — Except as provided under subsection (c.1), every health club shall employ and have on the health club’s premises during the club’s hours of operation a person who is trained and certified to administer CPR.

(b) Nature of employment. — An employee who is trained and certified to administer CPR may be hired primarily to fulfill other functions for the employing health club.

(c) Number of employees certified. — If a health club is open for more than eight hours a day and more than five days a week, it shall employ more than one person who is trained and certified to administer CPR.

(c.1) Exception. — A health club that offers services during nonstaffed hours shall not be subject to the requirements of subsections (a) and (c) if the health club complies with all of the following:

(1) Every health club offering health club services during nonstaffed hours prior to the effective date of this subsection shall comply with all of the following:

(i) The portion of the premises in which members are permitted access during nonstaffed hours must meet all of the following:

(A) Consist of not more than 6,000 square feet.

(B) Meet the requirements of the municipality in which the health club is located concerning accessibility to emergency services responders from the outside of the health club.

(ii) The area specified under subparagraph (i) must be equipped with all of the following:

(A) At least one automated external defibrillator.

(B) Appropriate signage.

(C) A panic button.

(D) A 911 telephone.

(E) At least four personal security devices.

(iii) During the orientation of each new buyer, or at the time of the renewal of an existing health club membership, the health club shall provide instructions regarding the use of the health club during nonstaffed hours, including the location and use of all equipment required under subparagraph (ii).

(iv) All contracts for a new or renewal membership to the health club must contain a waiver that:

(A) Explains to the buyer that the health club may have hours during which it is not staffed.

(B) Explains to the buyer that the health club is required to have certain safety equipment, including the location and use of the equipment required under subparagraph (ii).

(C) Is signed by the buyer acknowledging that the buyer received all of the instructions required under this subsection regarding the use of the health club during nonstaffed hours, including the location and use of the safety equipment.

(2) Every health club not providing health club services during nonstaffed hours prior to the effective date of this subsection that will begin to provide health club services during nonstaffed hours after the effective date of this subsection must comply with the following:

(i) Provide notice to all existing buyers of health club contracts of the intent of the health club to provide health club services during nonstaffed hours of operation.

(ii) Provide notice to all existing buyers of health club contracts of the hours of operation during which there will not be an individual on premise who is trained and certified to administer CPR.

(iii) Obtain a signed waiver from each existing health club member that:

(A) Explains to the buyer that the health club may have hours during which it is not staffed.

(B) Explains to the buyer that the health club is required to have certain safety equipment, including the location and use of the equipment required under paragraph (1)(ii).

(C) Is signed by the buyer acknowledging that the buyer received all of the instructions of this subsection regarding the use of the health club during nonstaffed hours, including the location and use of the safety equipment.

(D) Provides instructions to the buyer regarding the use of the health club during nonstaffed hours of operation, including the location and use of all equipment required under paragraph (1)(ii).

(iv) Provide notice to all existing buyers of health club contracts that:

(A) Within at least 60 days prior to the provision of health club services during nonstaffed hours, the provision of health club services during nonstaffed hours is a material change in the contract.

(B) The contract may be terminated only within the 60-day period under clause (A).

(C) If the contract is terminated under this subparagraph, a refund will be provided for the unused portion of the remaining contract.

(d) Definitions. — As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

“911 telephone.” A telephone that does any of the following:

(1) Allows the person using the telephone to contact a public safety answering point by dialing or pressing 911.

(2) Automatically calls a public safety answering point when a person picks up the handset and activates the telephone.

“Appropriate signage.” All of the following:

(1) A sign posted in plain view by each automated external defibrillator, panic button, 911 telephone and personal security device with instructions for their use.

(2) A sign posted in plain view indicating that working out alone during nonstaffed hours may pose health and safety risks.

“Automated external defibrillator.” A portable device that uses electric shock to restore a stable heart rhythm to an individual in cardiac arrest.

“CPR.” Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, an approved lifesaving technique which involves stimulation of the lungs and heart of a victim of cardiac or pulmonary distress.

“Emergency services.” Services, including firefighting, law enforcement, ambulance and medical services, provided for the protection or preservation of persons or property in circumstances of immediate and significant threat of injury or harm.

“Nonstaffed hours.” Any period during which a health club provides health club services without an employee on the premises.

“Panic button.” A wall-mounted device that, when intentionally activated by a person, sends an electronic signal informing a public safety answering point or a remote monitoring station that the person is in need of emergency services.

“Personal security device.” A device that is designed to be worn around the neck of a person and, when intentionally activated by the person, sends an electronic signal informing a public safety answering point or a remote monitoring station that the person is in need of emergency services.

“Public safety answering point.” A public safety answering point as defined in 35 Pa.C.S. § 5302 (relating to definitions).

“Remote monitoring station.” A location staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by trained personnel who contact a public safety answering point or emergency services responders.

(a) The department shall establish an automatic external defibrillator program to assist school entities and nonpublic schools in making automatic external defibrillators available in school buildings.

(b) On a biennial basis, the department, in consultation with the Department of General Services and the Department of Health, shall issue an invitation to bid for the cost of automatic external defibrillators and other equipment and supplies necessary for the proper operation of the device. The department shall accept the bid of the lowest responsible bidder and permit any school entity or nonpublic school to purchase the devices at the contract bid price. The department may purchase automatic external defibrillators from any funds appropriated pursuant to subsection (k) for distribution to school entities and nonpublic schools.

(c) To be eligible to obtain or purchase automatic external defibrillators under the program a school entity or nonpublic school must:

(1) Assure that two (2) or more persons assigned to the location where the automatic external defibrillator will be primarily housed are trained as required in subsection (d).

(2) Ensure that the device will be secured in a safe and readily accessible location and agree to properly maintain and test the device according to the manufacturer’s operational guidelines.

(3) Submit a valid prescription for the device from a licensed medical practitioner in this Commonwealth.

(4) Agree to provide the training required by subsection (d).

(d) School personnel who are expected to use the automatic external defibrillator shall complete training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and in the use of an automatic external defibrillator provided by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross or through an equivalent course of instruction approved by the Department of Health.

(e) A school entity may include the training required by subsection (d) in its continuing professional education plan submitted to the department under section 1205.1.

(f) The provisions of 42 Pa.C.S. § 8331.2 (relating to good Samaritan civil immunity for use of automated external defibrillator) shall apply to school employees who render care with an automatic external defibrillator.

(g) From funds appropriated for this purpose, the department may assist school entities and nonpublic schools that are not equipped with automatic external defibrillators by providing a discount from the contract bid price obtained under subsection (b) or by providing automatic external defibrillators obtained under subsection (b).

(g.1) The purchase of an automatic external defibrillator shall be considered an allowable use of Pennsylvania Accountability Grants under section 2599.2(b).

(g.2) The purchase of automatic external defibrillators shall be considered an innovative educational program under Article XVII-F of the act of March 4, 1971 (P.L.6, No.2), known as the “Tax Reform Code of 1971.”

(h) (Reserved).

(i) Not later than June 30, 2014, and each year thereafter, each school entity shall make a report to the department detailing the number, condition, age and placement of automatic external defibrillators in each school building. After the initial report is made, a school entity may report this information as part of the annual report required by the Commonwealth under section 2505.1 to receive State reimbursement for health services.

(i.1) A nonpublic school that participates in the automatic external defibrillator program under subsection (b) or (g) shall be subject to the reporting required under subsection (i).

(i.2) The department shall annually publish a report on its publicly accessible Internet website no later than December 31, 2014, and each year thereafter. The report shall contain the following information:

(1) The total number of automatic external defibrillators by school entity and nonpublic school.

(2) The number of school buildings by school entity and nonpublic school that are equipped with automatic external defibrillators.

(3) The number of school buildings by school entity and nonpublic school that are not equipped with automatic external defibrillators.

(j) The department may adopt guidelines as necessary to administer this section.

(k) The General Assembly may appropriate funds to carry out the provisions of this section.

(l) As used in this section—

“Automatic external defibrillator” means a portable device that uses electric shock to restore a stable heart rhythm to an individual in cardiac arrest.

“Department” means the Department of Education of the Commonwealth.

“Nonpublic school” means a nonprofit school, other than a public school within this Commonwealth, wherein a resident of this Commonwealth may legally fulfill the compulsory school attendance requirements of this act, and which meets the applicable requirements of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Public Law 88-352, 78 Stat. 241).

“School building” means a building owned by or under the control of a school entity or nonpublic school where classes are taught, or extracurricular activities are conducted on a regular basis.

“School entity” means an area vocational-technical school, a charter school, a cyber charter school, an intermediate unit or a school district.

“Secretary” means the Secretary of Education of the Commonwealth.

(a) In accordance with the academic standards for health, safety and physical education for grades nine through twelve and not later than the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, the department, in consultation with the Department of Health and at least one organization recognized under section 1205.4, shall identify or develop a model curriculum and curriculum guidelines for instruction on cardiopulmonary resuscitation for public school students in grades nine through twelve.

(b) The model curriculum and guidelines shall:

(1) be posted on the department’s publicly accessible Internet website;

(2) be age-appropriate;

(3) be revised regularly to remain current with national standards;

(4) provide guidance for integration into health courses or other appropriate curriculum requirements as listed in 22 Pa. Code § 4.23 (relating to high school education);

(5) be made available to all school entities;

(6) include compilation of recommended guidelines and educational materials from organizations with expertise in CPR and emergency care;

(7) incorporate psychomotor skills training, including hands-only CPR technique; and

(8) include information on the purpose of an automated external defibrillator.

(c) (1) A school entity that offers instruction in CPR may utilize the model curriculum developed under subsections (a) and (b) or develop the school entity’s own curriculum in accordance with academic standards and consistent with guidelines developed under subsections (a) and (b). A school entity may utilize appropriate publicly or privately available materials, personnel and other resources in developing and implementing this instruction, subject to the requirements of section 111 and 23 Pa.C.S. § 6344 (relating to employees having contact with children; adoptive and foster parents).

(2) A teacher, instructor or community volunteer, with the participation of a professional educator with a Pennsylvania certification, including a professional educator certified in physical education or health education or a school nurse, may provide, facilitate or oversee the instruction offered by a school entity under this section and need not be a certified CPR trainer.

(d) An individual who in good faith provides instruction in CPR to a student under this section shall not be liable for any civil damages as a result of any act or omission relating to the instruction, except for an act or omission intentionally designed to harm or a grossly negligent act or omission that results in harm to an individual to whom the student administers CPR.

(e) A cyber charter school may provide the instruction under this section through the Internet or other electronic means. If a cyber charter school provides the instruction under this section through the Internet or other electronic means, the cyber charter school shall be exempt from the academic standards and guidelines developed under subsections (a) and (b) regarding in-person instructional requirements.

(f) As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

“Automated external defibrillator.” A portable defibrillator designed to be automated for use by a person without substantial medical training who responds to a cardiac emergency.

“Cardiopulmonary resuscitation” or “CPR.” A first aid technique utilizing hands-only compressions of the chest used to revive an individual whose heart has stopped beating.

“Department.” The Department of Education of the Commonwealth.

“Psychomotor skills.” The use of hands-on practice to support cognitive learning.

“School entity.” A school district, joint school district, charter school, regional charter school, cyber charter school, intermediate unit or area vocational-technical school.

(a) The residence shall have a first aid kit in each building on the premises that includes nonporous disposable gloves, antiseptic, adhesive bandages, gauze pads, thermometer, adhesive tape, scissors, breathing shield, eye coverings and tweezers. The residence shall have an automatic external defibrillation device located in each building on the premises.

(b) Staff persons shall know the location of the first aid kit.

(c) The first aid kit must be in a location that is easily accessible to staff persons.

(a) Location. A mine operator, in consultation with emergency medical technicians, shall provide for use in an emergency one AED at the following locations:

(1) At a location on the surface in close proximity to the mine entry at the same location where the first aid equipment is stored.

(2) At a point in each working section not more than 1,000 feet outby the active working face or faces at the same location where the first aid equipment is stored.

(b) Training.

(1) Emergency medical technicians and emergency medical technician paramedics at the mine shall complete training in the use of an AED. The mine operator may include the required AED training in its continuing education plan for emergency medical personnel. Training in the use of the AED for emergency medical technicians and emergency medical technician paramedics shall be provided in accordance with the standards of the American Heart Association, the American National Red Cross or through an equivalent course of instruction approved by the Department of Health.

(2) Mine personnel, other than emergency medical technicians and emergency medical technician paramedics, shall receive yearly training in the operation of the AED. Training may be provided as part of the annual refresher training provided under 30 CFR 48.8(c) (relating to annual refresher training of miners; minimum courses of instruction; hours of instruction).

(c) Maintenance and inspection. AEDs shall be maintained and inspected according to manufacturer’s operational guidelines.

(d) Good Samaritans. Section 8331.2 of 42 Pa.C.S. (relating to Good Samaritan civil immunity for use of automated external defibrillator) applies to miners who render care with an AED.

***Codes and regulations cited from CaseText.

**Codes and regulations cited from FindLaw.

Note: This page serves as an educational resource on Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and related legal frameworks. AEDleader.com provides this content for general knowledge purposes and does not claim it to be exhaustive or infallible regarding interpretations of AED laws. It should not be considered legal counsel. We invite you to contact us for detailed guidance on complying with AED regulations specific to your location.

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