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Home > AED Resources > AED Laws by State > Massachusetts AED Laws

Massachusetts AED Laws

AEDs and defibrillators laws in the state of Massachusetts can all be readily found below for your convenience. 

The most important statutes (and those often overlooked) have been highlighted in red. Whereas anyone in charge of an AED program in the state of Massachusetts will want to be familiar with all of the statutes found below, those that have been highlighted in red you'll want to make sure your compliant with. 

If you're wanting to readily ensure your AED program is fully compliant with Massachusetts state law, be sure to check out our AED Concierge Service. This program acts as the medical direction and oversight for your AED program, ensuring your AED is ready to save a life when needed, you're fully compliant with all state and federal laws and codes, and that liability is kept to an absolute minimum. 

Have questions regarding AED laws for the state of Massachusetts? Just let us know! Any one of our team members will be more than happy to assist you in the development and support of your AED program. 


Massachusetts General Laws § 12V

Any person, whose usual and regular duties do not include the provision of emergency medical care, and who, in good faith, attempts to render emergency care Including, but not limited to, cardiopulmonary resuscitation or defibrillation, and does so without compensation, shall not be liable for acts or omissions, other than gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct, resulting from the attempt to render such emergency care.

Massachusetts General Laws § 12V 1/2

(a) As used in this section, the following words, shall, unless the context requires otherwise, have the following meanings:--

"AED", a semi-automatic or automatic external defibrillator.

"AED agency", a person that:

(i) possesses an AED that is maintained and tested in accordance with its manufacturer's guidelines,

(ii) permits an AED provider to use an AED in its possession,

(iii) requires that each AED provider, in each instance of responding to a request for emergency care or treatment, contacts the police or emergency medical services in the city or town in which they are located and provides a report to its AED medical director,

(iv) prior to implementation of its public access defibrillation program, notifies the local police and the emergency medical services provider of the number, type and location of the AED in its possession, and

(v) contracts with an AED medical director, who shall be responsible for ensuring that the AED agency complies with AED maintenance, AED provider training and notice requirements.

"AED medical director", a physician practicing in or adjacent to the regional emergency medical service region of the city or town in which the AED agency with which he contracts is located, who:

(i) is an emergency physician or cardiologist or a physician having specialized training and knowledge concerning public access defibrillation,

(ii) is knowledgeable about emergency medical services protocols established pursuant to chapter 111C,

(iii) is familiar with cardiopulmonary resuscitation and AED action sequences,

(iv) coordinates the activities of the AED agency with which he contracts and its AED providers, with the protocols described and the action sequences described in this section, and

(v) evaluates the activities of the AED agency with which he contracts.

"AED provider", a person:

(i) who has successfully completed a course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and in the use of an AED that meets or exceeds the standards established by the American Heart Association or the American National Red Cross and

(ii) whose evidence of successful course completion has not expired.

"Public access defibrillation program", a program sponsored by an AED agency, using AED providers and an AED medical director, which makes automatic external defibrillation and AED providers available to the public.

(b) Any AED provider who in good faith renders emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation or automatic external defibrillation, in accordance with his training through a public access defibrillation program, to any person who apparently requires cardiopulmonary resuscitation or defibrillation, shall not be liable for acts or omissions, other than gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct, resulting from the rendering of emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation or defibrillation.

(c) An AED medical director and an AED agency who in good faith participates in a public access defibrillator program shall not be liable for acts or omissions, other than gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct, resulting from such participation.

Massachusetts General Laws 93 § 78A

A health club shall have on the premises at least 1 AED, as defined in section 12V˝ of chapter 
112, and shall have in attendance during staffed business hours at least 1 employee or authorized 
volunteer as an AED provider, as defined in said section l2V˝ of said chapter 112.

Legislative note: This section shall not apply to a health club, as defined by section 78 of chapter 93 of the General Laws, if that health club employs 5 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, until 2 years after the effective date of this act. Sections 1 and 2 of this act shall not apply to a health club, as so defined by said section 78 of said chapter 93, if that health club employs more than 5 full-time equivalent employees, until 1 year after the effective date of this act. For the purposes of this section, the term 'full-time equivalent employee' shall equal 40 labor hours per week. (93 § 78A effective January 3, 2007)

Massachusetts General Laws 93 § 86

Absent a showing of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct, no cause of action 
against a health club or its employees may arise in connection with the use or non-use of a 

Effective June 2012:

SECTION 1. This law shall be known, and may be cited as “Michael’s Law,” in memory of Michael T. Ellsessar, age 16, who died suddenly of cardiac arrest suffered during a high school football game, and was not immediately treated with an automated external defibrillator.”

SECTION 2. Chapter 69 of the general laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 8 the following section:

Section 8A. (a) Each school committee and commonwealth charter school board of trustees shall ensure that every school under its jurisdiction has a written medical emergency response plan to reduce the incidence of life-threatening emergencies and promote efficient responses to such emergencies. The plan shall be in addition to the multihazard evacuation plan required by section 363 of chapter 159 of the acts of 2000.

Each plan shall include:

(1) a method for establishing a rapid communication system linking all parts of the school campus, including outdoor facilities and practice fields, to the emergency medical services system and protocols to clarify when the emergency medical services system and other emergency contact people shall be called;

(2) a determination of emergency medical service response time to any location on campus;

(3) a list of relevant contacts and telephone numbers with a protocol indicating when each person shall be called, including names of experts to help with post-event support;

(4) a method to efficiently direct emergency medical services personnel to any location on campus, including to the location of available rescue equipment;

(5) safety precautions to prevent injuries in classrooms and on the facilities;

(6) a method of providing access to training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid for teachers, athletic coaches and trainers and other school staff, which may include training high school students in cardiopulmonary resuscitation; and

(7) in the event the school possesses an automated external defibrillator, the location of said device, whether or not its location is either fixed or portable, and those personnel who are trained in its use.

Plans shall be developed in consultation with the school nurse, school athletic team physicians, coaches and trainers, and the local emergency medical services agency, as appropriate. Schools shall practice the response sequence at the beginning of each school year and periodically throughout the year and evaluate and modify the plan as needed. Plans shall be submitted once every three years to the department of elementary and secondary education on or before September 1, beginning in the school year immediately following the effective date of this act. Plans must also be updated in the case of new construction or physical changes to the school campus.

Included in each initial and subsequent filing of a medical emergency response plan, each school district shall report on the availability of automated external defibrillators in each school within the district, including, the total amount available in each school, the location of each within the school, whether or not said device is in a fixed location or is portable, those personnel or volunteers who are trained in its use, those personnel with access to said device during regular school hours and after, and the total estimated amount necessary to ensure access during school hours, after-school activities, and public events.

(b) The department of elementary and secondary education, in consultation with the department of public health, shall develop a model medical emergency response plan in order to promote best practices. In developing the model plan, the department shall refer to research prepared by the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other relevant organizations that indentifies the essential components of a medical emergency response plan. The department shall biennially update the model plan and post the plan on its website.
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