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The Good Samaritan Act – Why You Shouldn’t Be Scared to Use an AED

The Good Samaritan Act Image

Often people wonder if waiting for someone else to help a person in need is better in those times you aren’t 100% sure what you are doing. They are scared that if they do something incorrect or don’t know how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) that they will be held responsible for a person’s injuries or decease. The fact of the matter is that if you even have the slightest idea of what you are doing, you should run in without hesitation. You may be this person’s only chance of survival and it is crucial that you jump in right away.

Many are afraid to use an AED because it delivers shocks to a person’s body and they believe it is more dangerous than leaving the victim alone until a professional can arrive. The stories where people have been sued by the victim because a rib was broken during assistance, also causes people to hesitate from helping someone. But for those who live in Canada, you have no need to worry. In Canada, there is a legislation that protects any volunteer who takes action to assist a person in need – The Good Samaritan Act.


What is The Good Samaritan Act?

The Good Samaritan Act is a legislation that offers protection to any volunteers who provide assistance to a person that they believe to be incapable of decision, ill, or in serious harm (so long as the assistance is not negligent).

The act was created to reduce the hesitation of bystanders and get them moving into action without fearing repercussions. Each province (excluding New Brunswick and Nunavut that do not currently have the Good Samaritan Act) has slightly different rules. However, these provinces encourage the right for a bystander to take action rather than waiting for professional first responders. Because many people hold the belief that if they use an AED they could get in trouble or hurt the individual further, they often hold back from helping right away. Studies have shown, though, that when you take action, begin compressions and use an AED right away, it can more than double the person’s chance of survival. With the Good Samaritan Act, all liability has been taken off the person assisting with the emergency aid so they can #savealife.


Do AED’s Require Training?

Just knowing that using an AED on the spot could save a person’s life should be enough to motivate you to help. If using an AED is the thing causing you fear, ease your mind in that they are very simple to use. It is important that, despite not having training, your use of the AED could save this person’s life. Even if you don’t know the ins-and-outs of the machine, AED’s come fully equipped with step-by-step instructions that are voice activated. Every second counts for this person and the longer you wait the more harm that is done. Instead of waiting for that first responder to arrive, you can take on that role and be the first responder yourself. Take comfort in knowing that the Good Samaritan Act is the overarching law that will protect citizens like yourself, from liability when using AED’s and jumping in as first responders at accidents.


Still want to know more about AED’s? You can check out our blog that gives you the 101 on AED’s, how they work, and what they are, here!



All of that said, being trained on an AED is the best option for everyone. You will be more confident after proper training and may even be able to step in when others cannot. Take that next step and get an AED for your business or building, paired with CPR and AED training for the office. For the month of February 2017, First Edition First Aid is selling AED packages for 10% off! Now you can have your environment equipped with the very thing that could save someone’s life! Be prepared to take action with the confidence that you are lawfully protected while doing so!