Anytime Fitness, Hastings, MN, is suing the Kingston, MA, Board of Health, which requires automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in health clubs and a staff member certified in the use of an AED during all hours of operation.
The Kingston regulation differs from the Massachusetts state law, also known as Kayla’s Law, which requires AEDs in health clubs and staff members certified to use an AED during staffed business hours. Anytime Fitness is a 24-hour key-card club that usually is staffed during normal business hours but not during overnight hours. The Anytime Kingston club typically operates with staffing from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, according to the complaint filed April 1.
“Unless and until this matter is resolved, Anytime Kingston will not be able to stay in business as the Board has threatened to engage in litigation to remove its permit and shut it down,” the complaint says.
Each Anytime club has an AED as well as an emergency button on a wall in the club, according to Anytime Fitness spokesperson Mark Daly. Other safety initiatives in each club include personal security devices and surveillance cameras that can be monitored remotely by off-site club staffers, Daly adds.
“It’s ironic and unfortunate that the Kingston Board of Health is making it more difficult for the people who live in and around Kingston to participate in healthy lifestyles,” Daly says. “Anytime Fitness clubs are in 1,600 communities worldwide, and in none of those communities is there a local restriction like there is in Kingston. There is no doubt that Anytime Fitness puts at its highest priority the safety of its members and staff.”
Jake Pylant, the owner of the Kingston Anytime club, told The Kingston Reporter that he has received a letter from the Massachusetts chapter of the American Heart Association, which said Anytime’s business model is safe. The American Heart Association declined to comment for this story.
The Kingston regulation was adopted after the Anytime club opened, according to the newspaper. Kingston has filed a motion to dismiss the suit.
“I hope it’s not too long before reasonable people prevail, and this case is closed,” Joe Casna, the Kingston Board of Health chairman, told the newspaper.
Kayla’s Law is named for Kayla Richards, who died in 2007 after she went into cardiac arrest during her workout at a gym in Plymouth, MA. She was 22.
Last month, the state of New York, after a unanimous 141-0 vote, enacted a new AED law in which health clubs must have at least one AED on the premises during staffed business hours, with at least one staff member certified to use an AED. The notation of staffed business hours is more in line with the Anytime Fitness business model. The bill became law on June 1.