20 Year Reunion with First Person Saved by AED in Wisconsin!

June 12, 2010

Has it been that long?…..

[AEDs have been on the market about 20 years! Their prices have gone from $5,000 to $1,200-$1,500.  Their weight and size has been cut in half at least.  Yet, there is one commonality – they are still lifesaving equipment!]

Twenty years ago Wednesday, Waukesha Wisconsin firefighters Todd Laurent and Jeff Schulz saved Chuck Krebs’ life, using what was a brand new defibrillator at the time.  Chuck and his wife Jackie spent Wednesday evening thanking the men who saved him.

Chuck is the first person in Wisconsin saved by a defibrillator!  He had a heart attack and collapsed while at work inside his garage in Waukesha.  He was pronounced dead, but the firefighters arrived promptly and used the defibrillator to bring Chuck back to life.  Chuck returned to a normal life thanks to his heroes.  To read more:



For more information, contact one of our AED experts at 888-473-1777 or complete the following form and we will be happy to get in touch with you!

Are the AED pads interchangeable?

January 22, 2010
Medical Examiner, Emergency Physician, former paramedic

Donald J. Linder, DO


Answer: No AED pads are interchangeable between public access defibrillator models. However, there are a few public access AED devices that are high-end brand name devices that allow for adapters and compatibility with EMS models for Zoll, Philips or Medtronic (Physio Control).

Many times EMS agencies/personnel will ask their area businesses considering an AED purchase to consider this feature because they say it saves them time and resources when arriving on the scene.  They can take an already adhered set of pads and then hook them up to their machines and start treatment sooner under their watch.  Of course, I understand why they would want to save time and decrease use of resources.  But, what has to be considered is “WILL EMS ACTUALLY USE THE PADS PUT ON BY A LAY RESCUER?”

As an industry expert, medical director, ER Physician and former paramedic, I can tell you that the vast majority of volunteer and paid EMS/1st responders medical direction personnel have put protocols in place that do not promote this practice, in order to decrease malpractice liability and potential lawsuits.

While some AED reps (only those who have adapters) promote this feature the problem is that litigation fears in the real world makes it very hard to follow through on something that appears to make a ton of sense.

What is a medical director’s opinion on this matter? If the pads are applied incorrectly there is an element of unknown in the treatment of the patient.  Ideally, they will not use the pads placed with the AED but rather will remove those and apply their own set of AED pads that they know are applied correctly. They know have not expired or are not recalled and in fact do work properly, and that they know are OK to use to treat their patient.

With this mindset, the adaptable pads feature appears to be something that is overpriced and not worth the debate which it creates, when the feature is being promoted in the public access defibrillation market where pads are placed by layrescuers and untrained EMS professionals.

Bottom line:  what does the local EMS squad’s medical director have to say on this issue? It is better to let them weigh in and give their opinion as it may save time and resources in the AED selection process for area public access defibrillation programs.
Donald James Linder, D.O.

Medical Director

Linn County Medical Examiner

IA Licensed Physician #02997