Ambulance Tasmania


What is the "Early Access to Defibrillation Program"?

Ambulance Tasmania's Early Access to Defibrillation Program is designed to take advantage of the many publically-accessible Automatic External Defibrillators (known as "AEDs") across Tasmania.  If a cardiac arrest occurs within a few blocks of a registered machine, its owner will be alerted and, where possible, take their defibrillator to the scene to help the patient.

Why is early defibrillation important?

When someone suffers a cardiac arrest, blood is no longer being pumped around their body and they are clinically dead. With each passing minute from the time of the arrest, the probability of survival declines about 7%-10%, so early access to an AED is critical. Who can participate?

Anyone with an AED can participate in the Early Access to Defibrillation Program.  The Program is open to business owners, venue managers, sports facilities, tourist attractions, community groups and individuals who own an AED and are prepared to take it a few blocks if there is a cardiac arrest nearby.

What happens when the AED is needed?

Whenever we are advised someone is in cardiac arrest and your AED is determined to be closer to the incident than the responding ambulance, and within 10 minutes of the patient, we will send a text message or an automated voice message to you with incident location details. 

If you can do so safely, you can choose to take your AED to the location as a concerned member of the public. You will be under no obligation to do anything.


Should I drive to the incident scene?

No.  Everyone responds differently to emergency situations, and it is natural for some people to get excited and take risks, so for your own safety and the safety of others, if you choose to take your AED to an incident we prefer that you walk.

How do I register for the Program?

Joining the Early Access to Defibrillation Program is easy. Just click here to register online, or click on the menu link to download a printable copy of the subscription form or call 1300 979 057 and ask for an "Early Access to Defibrillation Program" Registration Pack.

What happens after I register?

When we receive your registration form, we will send someone to check your AED, go through the program details with you, let you listen to a sample recorded message with incident details so you know what to expect, and answer any questions you might have. We will then add your details to our Incident Information Service.

Once a year, you will need to confirm with us that your AED is still available and that your batteries and pads are not due for replacement.  You will also need to confirm that you still wish to be provided with incident information.

 Is there any cost to the program?

There is no cost to register and participate in the Early Access to Defibrillation Program, except for the costs of purchasing and maintaining your AED. Normally, the only additional costs you will incur are replacing the batteries and pads when they reach their expiration date.

Do I need to know first aid?

Most people think you have to be trained in using an AED. This is not correct. Knowledge of first aid is not required to register your AED and become a participant in the Early Access to Defibrillation Program, but training in CPR and use of defibrillators is strongly encouraged for all Tasmanians.

You cannot do any harm to a person by applying an AED. You just have to turn it on and the machine will talk you through everything you need to do in simple steps – so have a go, you may just save a life.

There are many training providers in Tasmania who offer basic training in CPR and resuscitation and more advanced courses in first-aid.

Are there any risks?

In subscribing to the Incident Information Service and registering your AED with us, you agree to provide assistance, where possible, as a concerned member of the community. Acting as a 'Good Samaritan' you do so at your own risk, but you are protected under Tasmanian legislation.

Where can I get more information?

For more information on Ambulance Tasmania's Early Access to Defibrillation Program, please contact Ambulance Tasmania on 1300 979 057 or email AED@ambulance.tas.gov.au