AED - Public Access Defibrillator Program

Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Information:

AEDs are machines that can shock a heart with an irregular beat, back into a normal rhythm. AEDs are safe & easy to use after short training session.

PAD - Public Access to Defibrillation means making AEDs accessible in public or private places where large numbers of people or people at risk of heart attack gather.

The information on these pages is provided to help you develop a PAD program, so that you can have an AED in your building.




Every year about 220,000 people suffer cardiac arrest and only about 5 percent of them survive. Sudden cardiac arrest is usually the result of erratic electrical activity within the heart muscle causing the heart to quiver resulting in the failure of blood to pump through the body. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can restore some blood flow but it is essential that an electrical shock be delivered to the heart (defibrillation) in order to restore an effective heart rhythm. Death usually follows unless a normal heart rhythm is restored within a few minutes. Defibrillation is the only known treatment to restore the normal rhythm. For every minute defibrillation is delayed, the victim's chances of survival go down 7-10 percent.

Effective July 1, 2007: AED Requirements for Health Clubs and Health Studios – see below.



Sidewalk CPR

Sidewalk Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is an event held each year during National CPR Awareness Week. Participants learn to perform life-saving, adult hands- only CPR in less than five minutes for use in cases of sudden cardiac arrest. Hands-only CPR focuses on the first few minutes following a cardiac arrest.  Using chest compressions only allows the remaining oxygenated blood to maintain vital organs, including the brain and heart, until first responders arrive.  The hands-only method is safe and effective; it decreases anxiety that may be experienced when one contemplates having to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.  

More than 1,500 residents in San Diego County die from sudden cardiac arrest. Rapid response, including immediate 911 notification, by-stander CPR, and using an AED if available, in cases of sudden cardiac arrest greatly improves the victim’s chance of survival and recovery.  On June 5, 2014 the County Health and Human Services Agency’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) partnered with 24 local fire departments, ambulance companies, and other emergency services agencies at 42 locations, training over 3,100 people in San Diego to perform life-saving Hands-Only CPR.

PAD Program Information and Resources:

Under Construction




Thank you for your interest in starting a Public Access Defibrillation (PAD) program in San Diego County. Early Defibrillation has been proven to save lives and improve the lives of people that have suffered a sudden cardiac arrest. County of San Diego EMS believes that access to early defibrillation is the key to survival and encourages training in the recognition of a cardiac emergency and use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to shock the heart into a regular rhythm.


For more information phone 619-285-6429.