Hats off to you, bobjengr, for taking the safety course in the first place. I often see defibrillators at my local gym (as I mentioned previously) and at big department stores, but I wouldn't know what to do in an emergency if no verbal instructions were available. You've convinced me that it's time to take a safety course.
I recently took a refresher first-aid course required for continued certification. During that course, the instructor told us about a situation very similar to the one Charles described in his comments. This story involved a gentleman who dropped during a shopping trip to one of our local mauls. A quick-thinking security guard quickly retrieved an AED from his golf cart, and using the verbal instructions provided, was able to resuscitate him until the EMTs arrived. When he left the maul he was breathing and awake. The security guard had training in CPR but had never used an AED before. The verbal instructions saved the man's life. From my safety course, we were told that four (4) minutes can be the difference between life and death when a person is unresponsive and not breathing.
These "talking" devices are definitely beneficial. Can you imagine having to read instructions prior to using an AED or other life-saving device when seconds count?
Wow, how scary, and good thing a paramedic was there! That person should count their lucky stars. Glad that turned out well; it would have been awful had there been a defibrillator there and available for aid but if no one could use it properly. And this is where the talking comes in very handy!
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.