Public Health Department (PHD)

Santa Barbara County Health Clubs
California Law Requiring Automated External Defibrillators (AED)

What is the legal requirement for an AED?


Effective July 1, 2007, all health clubs and health studios in California were required to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) program in place as required in the California Health and Safety Code, Section 104113.

Which health clubs and health studios are affected?


For the purposes of this law, health clubs and health studios are any facility permitting the use of its facilities and equipment or access to its facilities and equipment to individuals or groups for physical exercise, body building, reducing, figure development, fitness training or any other similar purpose on a membership basis. Health clubs and health studios do not include any hotel or similar business that offers fitness facilities to its registered guests for a fee or as part of hotel charges. Facilities that do not charge for services (such as a membership fee) are EXEMPT.

What else is required of heath clubs and studios? 


  • Must have a written emergency response plan that was developed with physician approval.
  • Must train staff in CPR and proper use of the AED. (Minimum 4 hour class)
  • Must conduct periodic training on emergency procedures, CPR and the AED.
  • Must have at least one person on duty at all times trained in the use of the AED.
  • Must have a program for regular maintenance and testing of the AED.
  • Must notify the local Emergency Medical Services Agency (LEMSA) of the placement of the AED. This procedure is easy and can found here: Please click here

What is Santa Barbara County doing about this new law? 


In July and August, Santa Barbara County EMS Agency sent letters to all known Health Clubs and Studios in the County. The EMS Agency explained the new law and informed the facilities of their requirements to comply and how to easily do so. Some facilities were exempt (due to non-membership program) and in some cases businesses had closed. Additionally, the EMS Agency contacted any facility not responding to the letters to confirm compliance. Please click here to see the chart that reflects the compliance of all facilities in Santa Barbara County.

What about enforcement if a health club doesn’t have an AED? 


While the new law requires health clubs to have an AED, it does not specifically prescribe or outline enforcement by any government entity. In the interest of public health, safety, and well-being Santa Barbara County EMS is making this list public to inform consumers on compliance. 


Why is registering the device with County EMS required? 


California Code of Regulations (CCR Title 22, Ch 1.8) requires all Public Access Defibrillation Programs (such as gyms, airports, libraries, public places) to notify the local Emergency Medical Services Agency of the placement of the AED. In Santa Barbara County, this information is fully integrated in the Emergency Medical Services System by advanced notification to fire, law enforcement, and ambulance personnel of the specific location of all AEDs in the community. For instance, if someone calls 9-1-1 from a location with a known AED, the emergency dispatcher is able to immediately direct the caller to get the AED and bring it to the victim. This simple step can and will save lives!!!


What should I do if my gym isn’t compliant? 


As a consumer of fitness services at a health club, it is important to be educated as to whether your particular club or studio is compliant with the law. If your club is not compliant, tell the management how important it is to you that an AED program is in place in case you, a friend, or loved one suffers a sudden cardiac arrest inside the facility. And remind them it’s the law!! 


What if my gym isn’t listed? 


The EMS Agency made every attempt to contact all affected gyms and health studios by compiling a list from available resources (phone books, internet, etc). If your gym isn’t on the list, please email to have the gym contacted.

Santa Barbara County Emergency Medical Services Agency
300 N. San Antonio Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93110
Tel (805) 681-5274 - Fax (805) 681-5142  map