Step 3 – Generate Support

By the time your committee has met the third time you will know more about AEDs than almost everyone else in your facility. If you plan to implement a true public access defibrillation program you will need the support of the community.

Public Awareness

If you are starting a program for just your facility, you will need the support of others within that facility. Public awareness and education are the key. People fear what they don’t understand. Thus, your job is to familiarize people with what AEDs are, how simple they are to use, and how important they are in treating cardiac arrest. Depending on how wide an audience you are asking for support, consider the following.

  • Newsletters outlining what you hope to accomplish
  • Payroll stuffers
  • Newspaper articles on the need for and simplicity of AEDs
  • Speaking engagements with various civic organizations or employee groups
  • Radio spots on the nature of cardiac arrest and the need for AEDs
  • Signs and banners posted in high traffic areas
  • Meetings to which the public (or your employees) are invited to ask questions and have the program explained.
  • Email messages broadcast throughout your facility.
  • Pamphlets in a Q&A format listing the most common questions and their answers.

As you begin your PR campaign, you will likely be exposed to the common questions and objections people have to the program you are proposing. Be sure to address these issues head-on in any meetings you hold.

Generally, you will find that there is not much resistance to AED programs and as people learn more about them, they become ardent supporters. If you have done your job well, questions will shift from whether they are needed or not to where the money is going to come from to purchase them.

Continue to Step 4