A county-wide scavenger hunt will use fun competition and prize incentives to raise awareness about a potentially-living saving device.

AEDs, or automatic external defibrillators, are used in situations of cardiac arrest or a heart attack to convert a lack of rhythm or erratic rhythm into a stable one. AEDs are found in businesses, schools, and a variety of institutions for use in the case of an emergency. Local agencies believe knowing where to find the devices could make the difference in the outcome of a person suffering from a medical incident. That’s what spurred the idea for the county-wide AED Scavenger Hunt, which encourages community members to search for the devices and educate themselves about where they’re located, as well as how they’re used.

The event is being coordinated by the Hartland Deerfield Fire Authority and runs through the end of this month. Fire Chief Adam Carroll says AEDs are actually very easy to use and it’s not so much operating one that’s the issue. In most circumstances, the problem is remembering to look for the device.

Anyone can join the hunt at any point throughout October and start earning credit for AEDs they’ve found by entering certain information. Teams or individuals can register online through the scavenger hunt’s Facebook page and the top three participants that find the most AEDs will receive cash prizes. A link to that page is located below. (DK)