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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank

Defibrillator Devices Are Required at Fitness Sites

A law that went into effect last July requires all health clubs and studios in the county to have an Automated External Defibrillator.

The county’s Emergency Medical Services Agency is calling for all health clubs and studios in Santa Barbara County to have an Automated External Defibrillator on hand, as required by a law enacted last July.


“Physical exertion may aggravate underlying heart disease or electrical abnormalities leading to a cardiac event and the immediate need for a defibrillator,” said Dr. Angelo Salvucci, the County Medical Director of Emergency Medical Services. “The combination of immediate CPR and defibrillation is in many cases the victim’s only chance of survival by intervening during the time between calling 9-1-1 and arrival of the ambulance.”

AEDs are portable battery-powered devices that, when connected to a person in cardiac arrest, deliver a life-saving electrical shock to the victim’s heart in order to restore normal heart rhythm. The machine costs between $1,200 and $3,000.

Health clubs and gyms are also required to implement an AED program at their facilities and to register their devices with the Emergency Medical Services Agency. AED users will need to have training on CPR and use of the device. All CPR trainers, like the American Red Cross or American Heart Association offer AED training. The EMS Agency has been monitoring local health clubs and their compliance with the new law.

The EMS Agency recommends that users of fitness facilities check with management to ensure they have an AED program.

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