Strenuous physical exercise, the kind that happens at gyms and health clubs, is associated with an increased risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). In fact, compared to others with a similar age and risk profile, athletes and active individuals are estimated to be 3 times more likely to suffer SCA.
Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) programs involve the placement of AED machines in easily and publicly accessible places to protect the community from Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Given the risk of Sudden Cardiac Arrest among athletes, PAD programs emphasize the placement and availability of AEDs at athletics fields and exercise facilities.
In the United States, some states have created legislation guiding – and mandating – that athletic venues make AED units available to their patrons. State laws also have recommendations or requirements that athletic facilities train all their staff in CPR and AED use.
Several states and the District of Columbia have mandatory requirements for AED placement in health clubs and gyms. The following states have comprehensive laws and recommendations relating to AEDs in gyms and health clubs.
Looking for an AED for your gym, athletic club, or sports team?
Check out our guide for finding the Best Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for Gyms and Sports.
State AED Laws
For Gyms and Health Clubs
States with AED Requirements in Gyms and Health Clubs
States without AED Requirements in Gyms and Health Clubs
JANUARY 24, 2023
New York Law Embraces the Future
Arkansas: Every gym, health club or fitness center is required to have at least one AED on site. Also, there must be an employee who has completed a course in operation of AEDs and CPR.
California: As of July 2007, California requires all gyms and health clubs to have at least one AED. The law also required the training of one staffer per AED in CPR and AED use. If the establishment has more than 5 AEDs, one person per every 5 extra AEDs must be trained.
Connecticut: Effective October 1, 2022, all health clubs throughout Connecticut are required to have at least one AED on-premises. The new law also imposes training, maintenance, and EMS notification requirements on health clubs.
District of Columbia: In D.C., health clubs are among the premises that must have at least one AED at all times. In addition, they must train a designated user in AED use and CPR, and have certification from the AHA, Red Cross or other relevant organization.
Illinois: In Illinois, fitness facilities are required to have one or more AEDs on their premises. As is common with laws of this nature, the establishment should also have one trained AED user staffed during business hours.
Indiana: Every health club in the state must have an AED in their facilities and it must be easily available to staff and members. The facility must also employ at least one person, during business operating hours, who is trained in CPR and AED use to a standard that is satisfactory with national guidelines.
Iowa: All physical exercise clubs (including gyms) must place at least one AED on their premises and it must be accessible to all people present during business hours. The facility must also have at least one employee who is trained in CPR and AED use.
Louisiana: In the state of Louisiana, gym owners are expected to maintain a well serviced and registered AED on the premises. The law, however, does not specify any guidelines regarding the presence of a trained lay responder.
Massachusetts: MA general law states that all health clubs must have at least one AED on their premises. The law also requires that at least one employee or volunteer must be trained in AED use, and present at the gym during business hours
Michigan: The proprietor of every health club is mandated to avail at least one AED on the premises, placed in a convenient and accessible location for every person on the premises. Additionally, the facility must employ at least one person who is certified in basic first aid, CPR and AED use.
New Jersey: All gyms and health clubs in New Jersey must have at least one AED on their premises. The AED must be registered with emergency services and maintained on a regular basis. During business hours, at least one staffer trained in CPR and AED use must be present.
New York: Updated with 2023 legislation, every gym or health club with more than 50 members must have at least one AED on their premises. In addition, at least one employee or volunteer who holds a valid certification in CPR and AED use must be present during business hours.
Nevada: AEDs are recommended but not legally required for health clubs. For facilities with an AED the device must be inspected and maintained regularly and any employee who will use the defibrillator must complete training in basic emergency care.
Oregon: Health clubs and gyms throughout the entire state must have at least one AED on their premises at all times. There is no stipulation on training of employees on using the AED or CPR.
Pennsylvania: All health clubs that have services during non-staffed hours must be equipped with an AED, along with an array of other emergency equipment. During operation hours, there must be an employee with standard training in CPR.
Rhode Island: requires every registered health club to have an AED located centrally and conveniently for all members, staff and guests. During each shift, there must be one or more employees with AHA certifications in CPR and AED use.
SCA SAVE STORY
AED Rescuer Saves 16-Year-Old at Gym
SCA victims are over 9x's more likely to survive in a gym equipped with an AED than in a gym without an AED.
SCA SAVE STORY
Mike was a normal and healthy 17-year-old guy in high school. Out of nowhere, Mike slumped over and went into Sudden Cardiac Arrest.