Step 2 – Committee

Perhaps your committee will meet and decide that you wish to implement an AED program. Your company agrees with your recommendation and five weeks later the AEDs are ordered and placed and everyone is trained. More often you are likely to meet resistance along the way. Resistance occurs because AEDs are not well understood by the average person. Perhaps the resistance will come because of money, or because people don’t want to try to revive someone who is suffering a cardiac emergency, or because the committee didn’t select the AED someone’s cousin sells. Or any of a thousand other things.


Identify a Champion

One person will usually evolve as a champion of the cause. This can be a parent who has lost a child, an employee with a heart condition, a volunteer fire fighter or EMT who knows first-hand the value of AEDs or someone who is just simply passionate about the idea. This same person might not be the best at putting together a budget for AEDs or at evaluating the pros and cons of AEDs, or even at developing an emergency response plan. But he or she is passionate about the cause itself. He is the one that knows that ‘No’ really means ‘Yes’. She is the one to send forth the convince others that they really should get on board and he is the one who keeps on pushing when the odds seem to be stacked against the AED program ever happening.

You may not know who will fill this role before starting and the champion may not be the chairperson of the committee but when all is said and done, this person is ultimately responsible for the AED program that is implemented.


Formulate a Committee

Sometimes it seems you spend half your waking hours in committee meetings. A committee to determine whether and how to implement an AED program does not need to be of long duration. Its work can usually be accomplished in a few months after which it may only meet on a quarterly basis.

The committee should be as diverse as possible without becoming too large. There should be someone on it representing management or administration; someone from the safety committee or the emergency response team, a member of the medical profession who works for or is contracted to your organization, employees or faculty, especially those who may volunteer as EMTs, customers or guests to your facility and anyone else you can think of who can be counted on to consider and make rational decisions about the issues.

At this stage, its great if you can have a company physician serve on the committee but this is rarely possible. Also, try to get some people on the committee who are either neutral toward the idea of AEDs or opposed to them completely. These types may make it seem that you are making no progress but when they have been won over things will really start to happen. Not everyone in your facility is going to favor AED programs initially. You might as well determine what opposition you face at the committee level before making your facility-wide recommendations.

Continue to Step 3