Defibrillation as soon as possible is the mainstay of modern emergency system in the treatment of sudden cardiac death. The emergency medical system (EMS) should be integrated with first responders in the community trained to use the semiautomatic external defibrillators (AED). Piacenza Progetto Vita is a European project of early defibrillation through lay first responders integrated within the EMS. After 22 months of the project 1 285 first responders were trained to the use of AED. Survival from sudden cardiac arrest significantly increased (from 3.3% to 10.5%, p<0.01). In particular in the group of patients treated by first responders survival from ventricular fibrillation was 44.1% vs 21.2% of EMS treated group (p < 0.05). A simple training for the use of AED without cardiopulmonary resuscitation training increased survival and created a group of competent AED operator integrated within the EMS.