Training is not the burden that might be imagined. Modern AEDs are highly sophisticated, artificially intelligent devices that can do no harm to the patient. If the patient does not need a shock then the AED will not permit shocks to be delivered.
Most AEDs on the market will give audible voice prompts to the operator which will lead the operator through the process. All the operator needs to do is to turn the device on and follow simple instructions. They are extremely simple. The training to introduce AEDs to rescue personnel is quite brief – perhaps an hour or so.
The most important training required is that the AED operators need to be certified in CPR. While we have several saves from shocks only with no CPR, AEDs do not eliminate the need for CPR. In the State of Minnesota, all licensed police officers and fire fighters are required to be trained in CPR. So in our case, the training overhead already existed before we began our Early Defibrillation Program. Update training is very minimal. We have our patrol division officers get "checked out" on the defibrillator a minimum of once every six months (or as ordered by our medical director).