Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) Program

Sudden Cardiac Arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States, claiming an estimated 325,000 lives each year. Research has shown that early defibrillation (applying a brief electric shock to restore a patient's normal heartbeat) can greatly increase a victim's chance of survival.

The Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) Program aims to reduce the number of Sudden Cardiac Arrest deaths by making defibrillators accessible to the public. When Sudden Cardiac Arrest strikes, every second counts!

With every minute that passes, the chances of a victim surviving are significantly reduced. Even though the Fire Department responds to every 911 call as quickly as possible - for the patient suffering a Sudden Cardiac Arrest - having a publicly accessible defibrillator may make the difference between life and death.

The goal of the PAD Program is to reduce the critical interval from cardiac arrest collapse to defibrillation - to minimize the time from the 911 call to the first defibrillator shock. This is accomplished by having automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) placed in buildings and public areas - such as airports, office complexes, residential communities, shopping centers, schools, churches and health clubs. Facility staff and volunteers then become trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and AED use.

By choosing to implement a PAD Program at your facility or worksite, you will be making a commitment to saving lives and improving the  chain-of-survival in your workplace or community. PAD Program participants must purchase the AED equipment, attend training classes, and maintain required records.

The San Francisco Fire Department will work with you to:

  • Develop an Internal Emergency Response Plan
  • Provide support to maintain a successful Program
  • Assist with locating appropriate training, equipment, and provide authorization to utilize an AED.

If you are a building or facility manager, or are interested in getting your building or facility involved in the PAD Program, please contact the SFFD Medical Director.

Additional information about Public Access Defibrillation is available on the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management website. Click here to learn more.