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Inside the Club: Understanding AED Law


We’ve discussed in past articles the importance of automated external defibrillators (AED) and knowledgeable staff members inside the club.

Recently at a Planet Fitness location on Long Island, N.Y., a 22-year-old female dropped to the ground inside a stall in the women’s bathroom. According to a story in the New York Post, a woman that witnessed the collapse rushed to the front desk asking the front desk attendant to do something. The attendant, a male staff member, responded that he wasn’t allowed to enter the women’s locker room. He told the woman that a female staff member was supposed to be arriving to the club soon, but wasn’t there at the moment.

According to the article, the attendant didn’t proceed to call 911 or inform anyone of the emergency until a second person notified him of the issue. Once he did call 911, it had been 4.5 minutes since he learned of the member’s collapse.

The police arrived at 5:28 a.m. and the member was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m. Should the staff member have called 911 immediately? Probably, but who is to say how he was processing what the first member was saying? What we should learn from this situation is the importance of instructing employees, of all levels, on how to handle emergency situations.

It’s crucial that all employees understand how to use an AED and respond to emergency situations. They should be instructed, and reinstructed on how to respond in certain situations, and how to discuss with members proper protocol to calm the situation. Additionally, it’s the club’s responsibility to know in what states it is required to have an AED on the premise: California, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington D.C.

Although New York is required to have an AED on site, it’s not required to use one in the event of an emergency. What are your thoughts on that particular law?


Tyler Montgomery is the editor of Club Solutions Magazine. Contact him at tyler@clubsolutionsmagazine.com.


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  1. gp June 27, 2013

    does this law about having an aed on premise apply to private studios?? and why since my state is included on that list didn’t our insurance provider or certifying org. inform us of thisblaw….that is if it does apply to studios/bootcamps or it it gyms/clubs? or all??

  2. Michael June 27, 2013

    I think the law in NY has a requirement of there being a minimum of 500 members before an AED is required.


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