Gym Member Released From Club Contract After Reporting Lack of On-Site AED

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A gym in Simsbury, Conn., has terminated a member's contract after the member reported to a local NBC affiliate that the club, Big Sky Fitness, didn't have an AED on-site. 

Bob Barlow, of Canton, alerted NBC CT that not all fitness centers are following Connecticut law by having an AED in their facilities, including Big Sky in Simsbury. 

“I’d like to think that nothing is going to happen to me or them,” he told NBC in July, referring to his friends at the gym. “But you never know. It could.”

After NBC ran its report in August, Big Sky decided not to renew Barlow's contract. 

“Manager handed me an envelope and in the envelope is a termination letter signed by one of the owners, and she said it’s because of all the bad publicity that was brought onto Big Sky,” Barlow said.

Per its contract, the private company “reserves the right to terminate membership at any time for any reason.”

“All I wanted to do was to have them comply with the law and hey, if they never had to use it, that’s the greatest thing in the world, but if they need to use it, they should have it and be able to use it,” Barlow said.

Connecticut law states that along with mandated AEDs at every fitness center beginning in October of 2022, every AED must be at a “readily accessible location” known to employees and there must be an employee on site who is trained to use it.

When asked whether Barlow regrets reporting the matter to NBC, he said he was does not. 

“Absolutely not," he said. "Because the one thing I wanted to happen, happened. They put an AED in all of their facilities.”

Just days after NBC's initial story with Barlow aired, someone working out at Big Sky’s Newington location suffered a medical emergency and eventually needed an AED.

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