As automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) become more widely recognized for their lifesaving abilities, public education, awareness, and fundraising campaigns are becoming more widespread as well. 

Many of these are using unique and clever means to achieve their goals and get the message across that an AED can make an enormous difference for someone experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.

Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator Campaign

Professional golfer Bernard Gallacher, former player and captain for Team Europe in the Ryder Cup, suffered sudden cardiac arrest in August 2013, while waiting to give a speech at Marcliffe Hotel in Aberdeen, Scotland. 

Thankfully, the hotel had an AED on site, and the device saved him. 

Since then, Gallacher has been a tireless campaigner for the installation of AEDs at golf clubs and other public venues. Proceeds from the Long Putt Challenge at the 2014 Scottish Golf Awards benefited his efforts. Gallacher was also awarded a Lifetime Achievement award in 2014.

Project Brock

The other side of the coin is a tragedy where failure to use an AED resulted in the death of a teenager in Alberta. 

Kim Ruether began Project Brock, named for her son, following his death during volleyball practice. The project is an AED awareness campaign, geared toward providing the device in public locations, along with education regarding how to use them. 

While many campaigns focus on providing AEDs, few focus on how to use one in an emergency, leaving many potential responders too anxious to make the attempt. AED units are designed for easy use with limited training. Ruether wants to make sure the public knows that they can use AEDs to save a life. 

Project Brock has worked to place 30 AEDs in Alberta since the project began.

Community Wide Scavenger Hunt for AEDs

This campaigns mixes public participation with good, old-fashioned fun. Sponsored by the he Tucson Fire Department and the University of Arizona, the HeartMap Tucson Challenge encourages teams and individuals to locate and log the location of AEDs throughout the city. 

This helps local fire and medical personal and the public to know the location of the nearest AED in case one is needed in an emergency. 911 dispatchers can also use the information to direct callers to a nearby AED. 

The devices are generally well-marked; however, in an emergency, time can be lost trying to locate an AED. The device is most effective when used immediately after a cardiac event.

Selfies Save Lives Campaign

During CPR Week 2014, celebrated June 1 through 7, the American Heart Association launched their Selfies Save Lives campaign, urging people to take selfies with AED devices to raise awareness. 

These images were then posted to social media accounts with the hash-tag: #AEDandME! The campaign urged people to know the location of their nearest AED and to make others aware of the devices around them. The campaign was launched in June, but is an ongoing project to continue to spread awareness and reach more people.

More and more AED campaigns are popping up in the US and around the globe as more people learn the benefit of AEDs for saving lives and providing the best possible first-response in cardiac emergencies.