Education Client Alert: Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) Required at Massachusetts School Facilities by July 1, 2018

by Greg Vanden-Eykel

Effective on July 1, 2018, Massachusetts public and vocational school districts, charter schools, approved private day and residential schools, and collaborative schools will be required to provide and maintain at least one automated external defibrillator (AED) at each school facility where instruction is provided or school-sponsored athletic events take place.

Additionally, per the requirement outlined in Section 54C of Title XII – Chapter 71, each school will be required to have a staff member who is certified to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use an AED in accordance with standards established by the American Heart Association or the American National Red Cross. School administration will also be responsible for ensuring that an AED and the certified AED provider will be on-site and available at all school-sponsored athletic events.

In the coming months, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will provide specific guidelines for the implementation, training, support and supervision of this new requirement. For schools that are financially unable to comply with this requirement, DESE will provide a list of grants and other sources of funding to assist the purchase of the required AEDs.

For more information or if you have questions about the impact of this requirement on your school’s policies and/or procedures, please contact Greg Vanden-Eykel at or 617.654.8200.

Greg Vanden-Eykel, an attorney at Barton Gilman, successfully represents Massachusetts and Rhode Island schools, students, and families before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Rhode Island Department of Education. He also regularly drafts and provides counsel related to education policies and procedures to ensure compliance with federal and state laws.