The North Texas Public Information Officer Group is kicking off a communitywide scavenger hunt to locate and create a database of lifesaving emergency defibrillators.
The AED Scavenger Hunt runs through Feb. 28 during National Heart Month. Prizes range from $50-$500. Registration is open to both teams and individuals. The individual and team with the most AED reports will also receive a plaque.
There are 1.2 million AEDs in public use across the U.S., and 180,000 more are installed each year. Many times the public cannot find where these AEDs are located.
Scavenger hunt participants will assist emergency responders by reporting the locations of AEDs across North Texas.
“Our list of AED locations may be incomplete. We are seeking the public’s help to learn where more of these devices are,” said Matt Zavadsky of MedStar Mobile Healthcare. “We want to know where as many AEDs are located as possible so our 911 centers can advise callers if there is an AED nearby.”
AEDs are about the size of a briefcase and allow bystanders to help someone who has collapsed during a cardiac arrest, prior to an emergency crew’s arrival. Studies show those who are treated with an AED have a 30 percent better chance of survival.
These life-saving devices are generally located at schools, businesses, airports as well as sports clubs and shopping malls. AEDs are commonly found in a clear glass wall box, sometimes next to a fire extinguisher; the spot is often marked with the symbol of an electrical charge going through a heart shape.