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Auxiliary use of Automatic External Defibrillators (AED's)

Posted 4 March 2010
 ALAUX 014/10

1. CG -5421 and CG-112 recognize the unique skills Auxiliarists bring to the table. While trying to take full advantage of the medical skills many Auxiliarist possess we need those patrolling with AED's to be in full compliance with State and Federal standards. Since there is no Coast Guard wide AED program, individual units must know, and comply with, the State and Federal guidelines. This message corrects and clarifies information distributed through ALAUX 001/06 in regards to the Auxiliary's use of AED's.
2. Units that do procure AEDs for use in a Public Access Defibrillation program (PAD) (read 'Public Access' broadly as in the device may be used on the public and not limited as only when left unsecured where the public can access it) must comply with the federal guidelines for such programs including the requirement for a Medical Director. The Medical Director, a licensed physician, is by Federal law required to oversee the AED's maintenance program and ensure all users are properly certified. States differ on the interpretation of "oversee" from being directly involved and hands on to being able to delegate some of the tasks but none of the responsibility. A Coast Guard Medical Officer may be utilized as a Medical Director but there is no obligation for the officer to do so . If the Medical Facility chooses not to accept the added responsibility the purchasing unit will have to contract a physician to oversee the program. Any PAD program that is created locally will have to have an SOP that is within those guidelines.
3. Any Auxiliarist who is currently certified by the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or American Safety & Health Institute to use an AED (defibrillator) is authorized to do so on anyone indicating need of an AED. If that certification has expired, however, an AED should not be used. After initial certification, those personnel who have taken the AED Provider course are required to re-certify every 2 years. The training must be hands on. Online training is not acceptable.
4. An Auxiliarist or a flotilla that has an AED that is not part of a maintenance program overseen by a Medical Director is prohibited from being used or taken on patrol. Order Issuing Authorities and DIRAUX 's must ensure Auxiliarists that patrol or travel on orders with an AED are certified to use it and the AED is part of a PAD maintenance program. For example, a member who has an AED as part of a medical kit for his/her job as an EMT with the local Fire Department most likely has an AED that is part of a State compliant program and is perfectly acceptable.
5. Any Flotilla wishing to purchase AEDs for use by currently certified members is authorized to do so but it may not be used until part of a compliant PAD maintenance program. There are no specific models required or recommended. The environment the AEDs will be used in should dictate the models used on surface facilities (waterproof models are very difficult to find).
6. Coast Guard units are not prohibited from purchasing AED's using local funds. If a Coast Guard unit purchases an AED, the unit is entirely responsible for its storage, issuance, use, and maintenance until properly transferred or disposed of IAW the Property Manual. The AED shall not be issued until part of a compliant PAD maintenance program.
7. The purpose of this list is to keep Auxiliarists as well as all other interested parties abreast of current developments, policies, manuals, etc. All information contained herein is OFFICIAL policy and will be incorporated into the next edition of the Coast Guard Auxiliary Operations Policy Manual (COMDTINST M16798.3(series)).



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