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Community AED

Public Access Defibrillation

Cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer of adults in Montana.  Eleven percent of White residents and 14% of American Indian residents reported a diagnosis of coronary artery disease. Cardiovascular disease mortality rates have declined for both the US and Montana over the past two decades and Montana continues to implement strategies to educate and prepare the public, emergency responders and dispatchers about cardiac event response.

A key strategy of Montana’s plan is the development of Public AccessAED programs.  Based upon American Heart Association guidelines for Public AccessAED, Montana requires entities to register their programs and to meet important guidelines related to education and training, medical oversight, AED maintenance and record keeping.

Entity Registration Required

Any entity that wishes to use or allow the use of an automated external defibrillator must register their organization with the Department of Public Health and Human Services, EMS and Trauma Systems Section (MCA 50-6-502). Entities registering in Montana provide the required information through the EMSTS Section's web-based, electronic OPHI-AED module of the Health Information and Resource Management Data System (HIRMS).

Note: Registration under OPHI-AED meets the requirement for a written plan as required under 37.104.604 ARM. No other ‘written’ plan is required. This will be clarified in a future rule revision.

Entities registering a community AED program provide information about:

  • Their organization, their AED(s) and the persons trained to use an AED.
  • Acknowledgement that their maintenance program for the AEDs meets manufacturer recommendations for battery and function tests and documentation of these checks.
  • Each entity must have a medical supervisor - a physician, physician assistant or registered nurse - available to advise the entity as needed about use of the AED, training and review of any incidents in which the AED is used.
  • Notification of the local 9-1-1 dispatch center and EMS service about the AED location(s), so that the entity becomes integrated with the larger EMS system.
  • The entity also must complete a short incident report each time the AED is attached to a patient and the medical supervisor reviews these for any opportunities for improvement.

Benefits of Registration

Registration helps entities be successful by assuring the entity is integrated with dispatch and EMS response, people are trained to use the AED, the AEDs are maintained and in working order, and that medical oversight is in place to assure patients receive the best care possible.

An important benefit for registered entities is that Montana law provides liability protections and immunity from civil liability to:

  • An individual who provides emergency care or treatment by using an AED
  • An individual providing cardiopulmonary resuscitation to an individual upon whom an AED is or may be used
  • A person providing medical oversight of the AED program
  • The entity responsible for the AED program
  • An individual providing training to others on the use of an AED

AED program contact info for questions and assistance:

Janet Trethewey
(406) 444-0442