After suggesting in a recent post that being proactive is the way to go when it comes to locating an AED when you need one, I decided to start asking whenever I am in a public place if there is actually an AED present. This started in my local library, and I found that there was none in place here.
When I asked the librarian, I was told that the fire department is a half block away and that’s what they would probably rely on if there was an [SCA emergency]. That sounds good, but wouldn’t I rather know that there is an AED available to the public right here where there are parking lots, buildings, hiking paths, etc. with lots of traffic around—automobiles, joggers, pedestrians?
Let’s check in again with the Mayo Clinic:
“Death or permanent brain damage can occur within four to six minutes. Time is critical when you're helping an unconscious person who isn't breathing. Take immediate action.”
So, it’s a no-brainer in my book. There should be an AED in this building. Is there anybody else out there who thinks so? Our local library system, like many local agencies, is strapped for cash. I can go to the librarian and induce a guilt trip by reciting facts and figures supporting AED’s, or I can really try to do something about the problem.
Here are some ideas that come to mind as far as becoming part of the solution, not just a whiner when I think there’s a problem…
1. Why not just pony up myself? How much does an AED cost? Looks like I’m in for a bill of $1000 to $1500. Can I afford it? Maybe, maybe not-- I have to decide that for myself. No question that it’s worth the money, even if it gets used once. So what else could I do if it’s just too much for the budget?
2. How about finding one or more friends to help make the purchase? My highly intelligent neighbors are community-minded and use the library. They, like me, are at the age where they just might like to have one around !
3. I could approach the library board and get their support for the project. How about a few hours at a table out front at the library raising public awareness by handing out fliers and AED stickers, selling “heart-healthy” baked goods, taking donations…sounds like fun and does the heart good in more than one way! Maybe a local EMT could join me and demonstrate the machine!
4. What’s this crowd-funding thing my Gen X offspring and their friends crow about. How about having some Millenials help me get a media blitz going? Might have “shocking” results!
5. A quick search shows that there are grants available to help fund purchase of AED’s. Tips for writing those grant applications specifically to obtain an AED for a group or location are available as well! Maybe a small group could earn an AED for our library by telling our story in a grant application. If we sincerely feel the need for an AED in our setting, that can go a long way toward convincing a grant-giving organization or company to purchase an AED for us!
6. It’s time for more research, to keep my enthusiasm up and be better informed so I can persuade others of the need for AED’s. What efforts, such as the development of AED-finding apps and maps, are being made to improve public awareness and aid in using the AED’s that are in place!
7. I will keep asking, “Do you know what an AED is and how to use one?” “Have you ever seen one here or someplace nearby?” “How can we get one or more in crucial locations around our community?”