Campaign aims to increase defibrillator awareness

Stephanie Martinson, founder of the health organization known as Racing Hearts, is using the “Spot the Box” campaign to raise awareness for automated external defibrillator (AEDs) installment throughout Palo Alto. Martinson believes that the positive statistics regarding AEDs gives reason for their implementation. “It is a simple solution to a huge medical problem,” Martinson said. “It should be the standard of care for everybody.”

Using information from three months of research, Martinson persuaded the city council and the school board  about the necessity of AEDs in Palo Alto. According to Martinson, the city council installed 52 AEDs around Palo Alto in August 2013, and another 38 defibrillators are going to be placed within the district’s schools by June 2014.

In addition to these installments, Racing Hearts uses the “Spot the Box” campaign to educate the public about what these AEDs do. The campaign also sponsors the AEDSpotter App to locate a defibrillator nearby. “If everyone knows where the nearest AEDs are and know what it looks like, that would be phenomenal,” Martinson said.

Although awareness has increased, Martinson continues informing others about the campaign. She wants AEDs to become more accessible, especially around public events with large crowds. “We should have life-saving heart defibrillators at all events, and everywhere just like fire extinguishers,” Martinson said. “Anytime there are a lot of people, [there should be] an AED on site.”


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