Safety Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 2: General Workplace Safety

Public-Access Defibrillators

SPPM 2.46

For more information contact:
   WSU Fire Safety and Compliance
   509-335-7471 /

Form:  Public Access Defibrillator Use Agreement

1.0  Policy Overview

To facilitate immediate treatment in an emergency, departments may purchase and install public-access defibrillators. (See Section 3.0 for requirements and Section 5.0 for assistance.) Public-access defibrillators, or automated external defibrillators (AEDs), are portable devices designed to analyze a victim’s heart rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock to restore normal heart rhythm.

Each department that acquires a public access defibrillator must ensure that employees who are expected to use AEDs receive training in defibrillator use and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in a course approved by the state of Washington Department of Health. In an emergency, where no trained person is available, a person other than a trained defibrillator user (i.e., a “Good Samaritan”) may use the defibrillator. (RCW 70.54.310, RCW 4.24.300)

1.1   Immunity from Civil Liability

A person who uses a defibrillator at the scene of an emergency and all other persons and organizations providing emergency services under this policy are immune from civil liability for any personal injury that results from any act or omission in the use of the defibrillator. (RCW 70.54.310(3), RCW 4.24.300(1)) 

1.1.a    Exception

The immunity from civil liability does not apply if the acts or omissions amount to gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct. (RCW 70.54.310(4), RCW 4.24.300(1))

2.0  Definition

A defibrillator is defined as a semiautomatic external defibrillator as prescribed by a physician licensed under RCW Chapter 18.71 or an osteopath licensed under RCW Chapter 18.57. Many defibrillator unit manufacturers now provide an AED prescription and medical authorization upon registering a newly purchased AED.

3.0  Requirements

Before purchasing or replacing an AED, departments must coordinate with the WSU Fire Safety and Compliance Officer (WSU FSCO) and the applicable AED maintenance work unit identified in Section 5.2 to ensure the following requirements are met regarding the installation, use, and maintenance of a public access defibrillator.

  • The department submits a completed Public Access Defibrillator Use Agreement to the WSU FSCO. (See Section 4.2.) Note: If the defibrillator is moved from the location specified in the agreement the department must notify the WSU FSCO of the unit’s new location.
  • The WSU FSCO notifies the local emergency medical services provider (e.g., fire department) regarding the existence and location of any defibrillator placed in a University location.
  • Expected defibrillator users receive Department of Health (DOH)-approved training in defibrillator use and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). See Section 5.1 regarding obtaining AED/CPR training. See also Section 4.1 regarding protocols for use.
  • The department ensures that each defibrillator is maintained and tested. See Section 5.2 regarding required AED maintenance and testing providers.
  • The defibrillator user or a co-responder telephones 911 or the local emergency response number when an emergent situation requires CPR and/or use of an AED.

    The defibrillator user or co-responder provides requested information to emergency medical service or other health care providers. When contacting 911 from a WSU Pullman location, providing the 911 dispatcher the building name on the WSU Pullman campus is sufficient for the site address.

  • The department submits a completed Incident Report to Human Resource Services when an event occurs involving a defibrillator. See SPPM 2.24.
  • The department contacts the FSCO and work unit responsible for AED maintenance after an event occurs to replace defibrillator pads and adhere to AED manufacturer recommendations.

4.0  Procedures

4.1   Protocols for Use

The potential defibrillator user assesses whether or not the victim is responsive. If the victim is unresponsive, the defibrillator user follows the protocol provided in training, or if an untrained AED user, follows the directions on the defibrillator unit.

4.2   Public Access Defibrillator Use Agreement

Each department installing a public access defibrillator must submit a completed Public Access Defibrillator Use Agreement to the WSU FSCO. (See also Section 3.0.) The form must be authorized by an administrator responsible for the department indicated on the form. Complete and/or print the Public Access Defibrillator Use Agreement or contact the WSU FSCO to obtain copies of the form.

All departments must submit completed use agreements to the WSU FSCO at WSU Pullman. The WSU FSCO forwards copies to the responsible approving authority. (See also Section 5.0.)

5.0  Assistance

5.1   AED/CPR Training

To obtain information about or to schedule DOH-approved AED/CPR training:

  • WSU Pullman departments may contact Environmental Health and Safety (EHS); telephone 509-335-3041; or University Recreation; telephone 509-335-8732.
  • WSU Spokane departments may contact EHS; telephone 509-335-3041.
  • WSU Tri-Cities departments may contact Campus Safety and Security; telephone 509-372-7163 or 509-372-7698.
  • WSU Vancouver departments may contact Campus Public Safety; telephone
  • WSU Everett departments may contact Campus Public Safety; telephone

5.2   AED Maintenance and Testing

To obtain AED maintenance and testing services:

  • WSU Pullman units/departments acquiring AEDs must engage the WSU FSCO for AED maintenance. Only units authorized by the WSU FSCO may test and maintain departmental AEDs. These departments are subject to periodic inspection by the WSU FSCO.

    The WSU FSCO:

    • Tests and maintains departmental AEDs in accordance with the manufacturers’ guidance;
    • Charges units/departments for the time and cost of maintenance;
    • Contacts units/departments for authorization in advance of AED pad or battery replacements.
    • May remove a defibrillator on the University campus from service until the defibrillator is functioning according to manufacturer recommendations.
  • WSU Spokane units/departments acquiring AEDs must engage WSU Spokane EHS for AED maintenance; telephone 509-335-9564; website
  • WSU Tri-Cities units/departments must engage Campus Safety and Security for AED acquisition and maintenance; telephone 509-372-7163.
  • WSU Vancouver units/departments acquiring AEDs must engage Campus Public Safety for AED maintenance; telephone 360-546-9001.
  • WSU Everett units/departments acquiring AEDs must engage Campus Public Safety for AED maintenance; telephone 425-315-4014

Revisions:  Nov. 2023 (Rev 140); Dec. 2009 (Rev. 82); Jan. 2004 – new policy (Rev. 51).