Maintenance Costs and Replacement of Consumables


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February 2020 update

Once the cabinet and AED have been installed, running costs are minimal.  The cabinet requires a miniscule amount of electricity to power the internal light (which is only activated when the cabinet door is opened), thermostat and heater (to control the temperature of the interior cabinet in cold weather).  The cabinet needs a 240V mains electrical supply to run the thermostat, heater and lighting; this is estimated at a few pounds per year. The premises owner should be informed of this cost when the placement of the cabinet is being evaluated.

AEDs have consumable components that will need replacing periodically or when they have been used. The frequency and cost of these varies depending on the make and model of AED. 

  • The battery life of most AEDs generally lasts between three and five years, or for a certain number of deployments. 
  • The electrode pads generally have a shelf life of two to three years at which point they will need to be replaced even if they have not been used. 

You will need to identify who will cover the cost of replacing the consumable components (battery and pads) on their expiry.  

If the pads are used on a patient, then your Ambulance Service may be willing to replace the pads but you will need to confirm this with them.

Should you need to replace the battery or electrode pads within an AED, please contact us and we will be happy to supply these components to you.

What Happens When an AED is Used? 

AED defibrillator in useAn AED when deployed has an internal memory showing an ECG of the patient and a recording of the event/incident.  It has playback capabilities with a custom USB cable directly connected to PC and Windows-based data review software.

In the event that the AED is deployed to the scene of an incident you will need to consider the following points:

  • You will require your local Ambulance Service to inspect the AED and commission it after use. In the Chew Valley South West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (formerly Great Western Ambulance Service)commissioned all defibrillators and re-commissioned them after any incident when they were deployed.
  • If the AED is taken to the scene of an incident but is not required, it should be returned to the cabinet either by the user or the Ambulance Service.
  • If the AED is required, either the Ambulance Service take the AED with the patient to hospital or a representative of the Ambulance Service visits the incident and collects the AED from the persons involved with the incident or from the Ambulance crew or hospital.  On each of the occasions that an AED has been deployed in the Chew Valley, Great Western Ambulance Service has returned the AED to its cabinet after having downloaded its memory and re-commissioned it for use.  You should liaise with your contact at the local Ambulance Service to agree the protocol for returning the AED to the cabinet or to a nominated person.
  • You might want to consider including a Deployment Log (form can be provided) in the cabinet to record information about when the AED is used and by whom.  Please liaise with your Ambulance Service to determine if this is required.


You may want to be able to monitor and evaluate the occasions on which the AED is called into action.  Such information could be invaluable if you intend to expand the project in the future and need evidence to demonstrate the success of your project to date.  You should liaise with your local Ambulance Service and Community First Responders (if appropriate) to determine when and how they will provide you with feedback in the event the AED is called into action.

Arrhythmia Alliance will be collecting statistical evidence as the initiative rolls forward on the time and deployment of the AED.

NHS Insurance Cover when an AED is Deployed under Instructions from the Emergency Services

The Chew Valley initiative, which commenced in 2007 in the Chew Valley region of North Somerset, was supported by the Great Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust (GWAS).  GWAS arranged with their insurers that the user deploying an AED from a cabinet anywhere in the region (i.e. Bristol, North Somerset, Bath and North East Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire) is insured as he/she was acting as a "good Samaritan" under the Ambulance Service's instruction as no other help from a trained professional is available. 

The Ambulance Services recognise that early deployment of an AED combined with CPR when Sudden Cardiac Arrest occurs, is the only way of increasing the patient's chances of survivial from under 5% to 50%.  Therefore it is important to liaise with your local Ambulance Service to seek their support and help with your project from the outset, including advice regarding insurance cover.

Please click here should you wish to contact us for advice regarding the AED project in your community.


Restart The Heart - PADs across Cornwall






Can you help?  FLEET are leading the way and aim to provide a Public Access Defibrillator in every Town and Village in Cornwall.  Follow their amazing initiative. 

Click here to visit their website and offer your help..


What type of ambulance response time will be given

The most serious life threatening calls made to the Ambulance Service are dealt with first.  Because of this, the Ambulance Trust prioritise calls into nationally-agreed categories.

Below is an explanation...

Red 1

  • Response in 8 minutes
  • Two resources should be despatched to these incidents where possible. Patient suffered cardiac arrest or stopped breathing.

Red 2

  • Response in 8 minutes
  • All other life threatening emergencies.

Green 1 

  • Response in 20 minutes
  • Blue lights and sirens

Green 2 

  • Response in 30 minutes
  • Blue lights and sirens

Green 3 

  • Telephone assessment within 20 minutes
  • Response within one hour (no blue lights required)

Green 4

  • Telephone assessment within 60 minutes.


The Emergency Services will always do their best to arrive at an incident in the shortest possible time.  However, if the incident occurs at a busy part of the day or weekend or weather and/or traffic problems delay the paramedics arriving within the 8-minute response time, the only way of helping to prevent a life being lost is to follow the chain of survival without delay and administer to the patient good quality CPR and use an AED.