Automatic External Defibrillator Policy

Adoption: June 3, 2015

Responsible Chancellor's Cabinet Member: Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services

Responsible Department/Office: Facilities Services

Download signed policy (PDF)


In order to provide the best possible outcome for victims of sudden cardiac arrest on University of Alaska Fairbanks campuses and properties, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are provided and maintained at key strategic locations. They may be installed at additional locations when paid for by departments, and approved by the UAF Fire Chief.


AEDs have been shown to significantly improve the outcomes for victims of sudden cardiac arrest. To achieve optimal public health benefits, AEDs should be strategically placed in high­risk locations such as transportation hubs, high-density public areas, and fitness facilities. Evidence shows that untrained laypersons can apply and use an AED safely and effectively.

Alaska Statutes provide limits to civil liability to a person who provides an AED for use in a medical emergency and establishes conditions for immunity, including maintenance and training requirements. UA General Counsel has determined the placement of AEDs in public locations exposes the University to a moderate risk of being sued if it is determined the AED was not properly maintained according to the specifications in the statute. Qualifications in civil immunity laws have been found to be an impediment to the acquisition of AEDs. Recent trends in litigation suggest a facility without an AED may be more at risk for a lawsuit than one with an AED.


Automated External Defibrillator (AED): a portable electronic device that, when applied to an unresponsive person, can identify cardiac dysrhythmias and guide a user with aural and textual instructions to use electrical current to restore a normal cardiac rhythm.

Public Access Defibrillation: a program designed to encourage greater acquisition, deployment and use of AEDs in an effort to reduce the numbers of deaths associated with sudden cardiac arrest.

Strategic AED: an AED determined to meet the criteria of public access defibrillation and in a location without access to emergency medical service in five minutes or less. Such AEDs will be installed and paid for by the UAF administration.


Civil Liability For Use of An Automated External Defibrillator, Alaska Statute 09.65.087.

Gilchrist S, Schieb L, Mukhtar Q, Valderrama A, Yoon P, Sasson C, et al. A summary of public access defibrillation laws, United States, 2010. Prev Chronic Dis 2012;9:110196. DOI:

Lazar, R. (2013, August 9). Current State of U.S. AED Laws. Retrieved June 23, 2014, from Readisys website (must be a member to view)

Roszak, A. (n.d.). Legal Concerns. Retrieved June 23, 2014, from SWA Aware website


Unit/Department Heads: May request AEDs for their facilities. (If in a non-strategic location the unit will fund the purchase and installation by Facilities Services of approved AEDs.) Monitor installed AEDs; notify fire chief of new or decommissioned AEDs; ensure AED training is provided as appropriate.

Student Health and Counseling Center Physician: upon the request of a UAF department or unit purchasing an AED, authorize AED purchases where a physician approval is required.

UAF Fire Chief: Specify approved AEDs; provide guidance for installation and use of AEDs; maintain an inventory of AEDs; collect data on AED usage.

Facilities Services: Conduct annual inspections, testing, and minor maintenance (including battery replacement) of AEDs in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations; furnish and install AEDs and cabinets as requested following best practices and guidance from the fire chief.

All Users: When an AED has been used (whether or not a shock was delivered), notify the fire chief and complete UA AED Post-Incident Report Form for Cardiac Arrests.


Failure to properly maintain and routinely test a device may result in the device not being ready when needed.

Failure to comply with this policy and to meet the conditions in AS 09.65.087 may increase civil liability for the user and the University.




At a minimum, UAF will ensure that AEDs are provided at the following strategic locations determined to meet the criteria of public access defibrillation and those without access to EMS in five minutes or less: a) Great Hall; b) Student Recreation Center; c) Patty Building; d) Museum of the North; e) Wood Center; t) Poker Flat Research Range; g) Toolik Field Station; h) Osher Lifelong Leaming Institute; and, i) Community and Technical College on Barnette Street.

A UAF department, unit, or other entity that desires to provide an AED in other locations is responsible for all initial and ongoing costs associated with the procurement, installation, and repair of the device.

UAF Facilities Services will conduct (and pay for) annual inspection and testing of AEDs, and will perform minor maintenance on them, including battery replacement as required. The cost to replace or overhaul non-strategic AEDs will be borne by the department, unit or entity which requested its installation.

AEDs shall be provided or located in a manner to ensure ready access by the intended users.

Only AEDs approved by the fire chief shall be purchased and installed in UAF facilities. AEDs shall be furnished and installed by Facilities Services.

AEDs shall be maintained to the most current American Heart Association Guidelines (currently 2010).

Decommissioning of unneeded or obsolete units shall be through Facilities Services and with notification to the fire chief.



Brian D. Rogers, Chancellor
University of Alaska Fairbanks