Olympia — A bill that would require fitness centers to have at least one semiautomatic external defibrillator (AED) on hand passed the Senate with unanimous support on Tuesday.  

Senate Bill 5592, sponsored by Sen. Sam Hunt (D-Olympia), was brought forward by constituents. 

Brian Reiter passed away at age 49 after suffering a sudden heart attack while working out at a local gym. Brian, an active community member, was captain of Thurston County Search and Rescue and a strong advocate for AEDs. According to his wife, Brian initiated the installation of an AED device where he worked and kept his AED training up to date.   

His family, who testified in committee last year, said they hope the legislation saves lives.  

“This law won’t bring my husband back,” said Kim, Brian’s wife. “But it can keep another family from suffering as we have.” 

Time is critical during a cardiac event. A person’s chance of surviving cardiac arrest drops by 7% to 10% every minute a normal heartbeat isn’t restored. Immediate CPR and AED use can double or triple the person’s chance of survival, according to the American Heart Association.  

“A family turned their loss into action in hopes of saving others’ lives,” Hunt said. “By requiring AEDs in all fitness centers, we take a necessary step towards protecting and providing immediate care for those who suffer from any form of heart disease or trauma.” 

The bill now heads to the House.