Knowing and communicating your church AED policy is essential for keeping everyone in your care safe while they are in your church building. An AED policy should cover information such as who has AED training, where your AED is located, and how often it is maintained. To help you create a church AED policy for your building, read below for tips.
Do Churches Need an AED?
Cardiac arrests have become much more common in the past few years; the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation reported that close to 365,000 individuals experience out-of-the-hospital cardiac arrest each year in the United States. This number equates to roughly 1,000 victims every day. For each of these victims, their chance of survival decreases by 10% for every minute that high quality CPR and an AED are not used. While churches aren’t required by law to have an AED, these numbers help you understand why it’s highly recommended.
Furthermore if your church has a large campus, a gym, or a pool it’s prudent to have an AED on hand. While we may think that regular exercise can decrease the risk of SCA (sudden cardiac arrest), a high number of SCA events actually occur during or right after a vigorous workout. Furthermore, children are not immune to sudden cardiac arrest; the American Heart Association estimates that around 6,000 children have SCA outside of hospitals each year.
Additionally, it’s likely that there are individuals in your church who may have risk factors that may contribute to SCA. Having an AED handy can help both children and adults should someone experience cardiac arrest while they are at church.
Should I Have a Church AED Policy?
If your church already has an AED, you need to have a policy in place. This will help to determine the people who can use it, where you can find it, and how often it is maintained. It’s a good idea to have some church and staff members specifically trained to use the AED while others are also trained in CPR. Generally, AEDs are simple to use, and provide verbal instructions for the person performing the rescue. Once the AED is turned on, the people using it will be prompted what to do.
Part of a churches AED policy should include notification to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and how to provide effective CPR. Within three minutes of a cardiac event, the defibrillator should be made available to the victim and turned on to begin use. This means that the placement of the AED should be easy to find and accessible to church attendees. While it’s preferred that someone trained in using an AED will oversee the usage- the AED should still be accessible to anyone. It’s almost impossible to use an AED the wrong way unless it’s never provided in an emergency. We recommend storing your church AED in a wall-mounted cabinet that protects the device from theft or tampering.
What is the Best AED for a Church?
While there are various models and kinds of AEDs for churches, here are some of the best and most trusted brands:
- Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2: A versatile model which is well-suited for churches, it provides an easy-to-use and affordable option.
- Zoll AED Plus: This is one of the easiest defibrillators to use, making it the perfect choice for those without medical training.
- Philips FRx: The Philips FRx is an intuitive model that offers child-friendly functionality, easy-to-follow diagrams, and clear instructions.
How much are AEDs For Churches?
Defibrillators for churches can cost anywhere from $1,699 to $2,900. The models above can be purchased at the following prices:
- The Physio-Control LIFEPAK CR2 is available for $1,895 but also has a value package available for $1,915. The package includes a cabinet, a soft carry case, wall signage, a Quick Start Tool Kit With Training Demo, a first responder kit, and more.
- The Zoll AED Plus can be purchased for $1,699, but also offers a package for $1,729. This package includes a first responder kit, a cabinet, decals, a wall poster, and more.
- The Philips FRx — Sold as a value package for $1,711, this model includes HEARTSTART FRx AED, a first responder kit, a cabinet, signage, a carry case, and an an eight-year warranty.
If you’re looking to get AED training, we offers classes, which range from as low as $35 for online sessions to $299 for an onsite group class that trains up to six people. More individuals can be accommodated for an additional amount.
For more information on various AED’s check out our comprehensive article comparing most every option on the market here.