The Smart Heart Act: Protecting Young Athletes from Cardiac Emergencies

What is the Smart Heart Act?

The Smart Heart Act, signed into law by Governor Bill Lee on May 21, 2024, is a groundbreaking measure designed to protect young athletes from the dangers of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The Act mandates that all public and private schools in Tennessee have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) accessible within three minutes of all athletic facilities. Additionally, it requires comprehensive training for coaches and athletic directors in AED use, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and first aid.

Key Provisions of the Smart Heart Act

  1. AED Accessibility: The Act ensures that every school has an AED readily available within three minutes of athletic facilities. This swift accessibility is crucial in responding to cardiac emergencies, where every second counts.

  2. Mandatory Training: All coaches, including volunteers, and school athletic directors must undergo training in AED use, CPR, and first aid. This ensures that those most likely to be present during athletic activities are prepared to act in case of an emergency.

  3. Emergency Action Plans: The Act requires all high schools to establish and regularly rehearse an Athletics Emergency Action Plan (AEAP). This plan includes detailed procedures for responding to cardiac events, ensuring that everyone knows their role and can act quickly and efficiently.

Why the Smart Heart Act Matters

  1. Protecting Young Athletes: Sudden cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death among young athletes. By making AEDs readily available and ensuring that staff are trained to use them, the Smart Heart Act significantly increases the chances of survival for athletes who suffer cardiac emergencies during sports activities.

  2. Immediate Response: Time is critical in cardiac emergencies. The Smart Heart Act’s requirement for AEDs to be accessible within three minutes ensures that lifesaving treatment can be administered quickly, improving outcomes and saving lives.

  3. Community Readiness: The Act promotes a culture of preparedness within schools. Regular training and rehearsals mean that everyone involved in school athletics is equipped to handle emergencies, fostering a safer environment for students.

  4. Inspiration from Real Events: The Act was inspired by the real-life cardiac arrest event of NFL player Damar Hamlin in 2023 and a local Tennessee athlete, highlighting the urgent need for such measures. These incidents underscore the importance of having AEDs and trained personnel on-site.

AED Market’s Role and Commitment

At AED Market, we are passionate about supporting initiatives like the Smart Heart Act. Our commitment to enhancing public health and safety includes:

  • Providing Top-Quality AEDs: We offer a range of reliable and user-friendly AEDs that meet the highest standards of performance and safety.
  • Comprehensive Training: We provide thorough training programs for schools, ensuring that staff are not only certified but also confident in their ability to use AEDs and perform CPR.
  • Ongoing Support: We offer continuous support and resources to help schools maintain their AEDs and stay up-to-date with best practices in emergency response.


The Smart Heart Act represents a significant step forward in protecting young athletes in Tennessee. By ensuring AED accessibility, mandating comprehensive training, and requiring emergency action plans, this legislation creates a safer environment for our children to engage in sports.

At AED Market, we are proud to support the Smart Heart Act and its mission to save lives. We believe that through the combined efforts of legislation, education, and technology, we can make a profound impact on public health and safety.

For more information about the Smart Heart Act and how AED Market can assist your school or organization in implementing these lifesaving measures, please contact us or visit our website. Together, we can ensure that every heartbeat counts.