The North Texas Public Information Officer Group is kicking off a community-wide scavenger hunt taking place throughout February to locate and create a database of lifesaving emergency defibrillators called AEDs.
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 locate AEDs and this is where the scavenger hunt comes into play.
“We want to know where as many AEDs are located as possible so our 9-1-1 centers can advise callers if there is an AED nearby,” said Matt Zavadsky, member of the North Texas PIO Group.
AEDs are electronic, about the size of brief case, and allow bystanders to help someone who has collapsed during a cardiac arrest prior to emergency crews’ arrival. Studies show those who are treated with an AED have a 30 percent better chance of survival.
These lifesaving devices are generally located in 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.
Here are basic rules of the hunt:
•The contest runs through February 28. To participate, individuals or teams should register online for free at http://www.medstar911.org/north-texas-pio-aed-scavenger-hunt-registration
•Once an AED is located, participants are asked to report a brief description and photo of the device, the building address and precise location within the building, and whether the device appears to be ready for use. Reports should be posted to the contest Facebook page (NTXAED), by tagging the NTXAED Twitter account (@NTXAED), or tagging NTXAED on Instagram.
•Prizes range from $50-$500
To follow the action and help spread the word about the NTXAED scavenger hunt, please use #NTXAED and follow @NTXAED on Twitter or Instagram.