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Position Statement


The member facilities of the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) believe that an automated external defibrillator (AED) can be a life-saving tool for our customers who have certain medical emergencies. The NGCOA supports voluntary AED programs, such as the Links for Life program, sponsored by Golf Digest magazine, the American Heart Association and other golf industry associations. Links for Life encourages golf course owners to place AEDs in their facilities and have trained personnel available for AED operation. Taking such extra precautions may save lives on our member facilities.

While we support the voluntary purchase of AEDs, the NGCOA is opposed to state mandated AED use laws. Some states have passed unfunded mandates, requiring golf course owners to purchase at least one AED. In addition, such mandates require staff to be trained on their use and on the premises at all times the business is open.

When AED purchases becomes mandatory rather than voluntary, significant liability issues arise that are not covered by Good Samaritan laws. Good Samaritan laws provide protections for volunteers using life saving equipment like AEDs, but they do not fully protect businesses in mandated use states. In mandated use states, liability may result from faulty, damaged or missing equipment; absence of trained personnel or inability to reach victim in a timely fashion due to on-course location of emergency. Assuming increased liability without additional protections could pose detrimental risks to golf course owners and operators.

It is the position of the NGCOA that voluntary purchase of AEDs may be a good business decision, but legislation mandating AED purchase and staff training is not favorable for our member golf courses.

© 2000, National Golf Course Owners Association