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Public Access Defibrillation

In 2005, 22% of all deaths in Montana were due to heart disease, the second leading cause of death.  Significant health disparities exist in Montana’s largest minority group, American Indians.  Although cardiovascular disease mortality rates have declined for both the US and Montana over the past two decades, Montana’s American Indian population continued to have higher cardiovascular disease death rates than non-Indians.

Montana has implemented strategies to educate and prepare the public, emergency responders and dispatchers about cardiac event response.  With prior year grant funding, 240 AEDs were distributed geographically across every county in the state and functionally across a broad range of responders, including law enforcement, fire departments, and ambulance services.

AED Program Contact Info:
Mary Hill
(406) 444-3896

Any entity that wishes to use or allow the use of an automated external defibrillator must register their organization with the Department of Public Health and Human Services, EMS and Trauma Systems Section (50-6-502 MCA).

Entities registering a community AED program provides information about their organization, their AED(s) and the persons trained to use an AED. They must have a maintenance program for the AEDs.

Each entity must also have a medical supervisor; a physician, physician assistant or registered nurse. The medical supervisor is responsible to provide medical advice as necessary to the entity about the use of AEDs and training of the organization staff. This person also assures that the program is integrated with the local dispatch and EMS system. The entity also must complete an incident report each time they respond and the medical supervisor reviews these for performance improvement.

For registered entities, Montana law provides liability protections and immunity from civil liability to the persons who using an AED, those providing medical oversite (medical supervisor), the entity responsible for the program and an individual providing training on the use of the AED.

Entities registering in Montana provide the required information through the EMSTS Sections's web-based, electronic data system, OPHI-AED module of the Health Information and Resource Management System (HIRMS).

Page last updated 09/25/2014