Saving lives with Kiwi defibrillator locater

Albany Mega Mitre 10 manager Garyth Murray with the store's AED,

Amy Baker

Albany Mega Mitre 10 manager Garyth Murray with the store’s AED,

An app is making it easier for people to find life-saving defibrillators in their area.

The AED Locations site and app link to Google Maps so users can search their current location for the closest defibrillator.

The idea comes from paramedic and Auckland Hospital resuscitation coordinator Gareth Jenkin, who has been teaching resuscitation since 2002.

Log on to to find your nearest defib.

Log on to to find your nearest defib.

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“It was the same question on every course: ‘Where are defibrillators?’ There’s a lot of urban myths as to where you might find them,” Jenkin says.

“My desire was to put something together that was more definitive.”

The platforms were built pro-bono by Able Tech in Wellington after Jenkin appeared in a story in The New Zealand Listener in 2010.

AED Locations now lists just under 6,000 locations nationwide, including medical centres, schools, libraries and commercial spaces.

Mitre 10 MEGA Albany has a defibrillator on site, a decision manager Garyth Murray says is a ‘no brainer’.

“It’s just another step in creating a safe environment for visitors, customers and our team,” he says.

Murray says while they’ve never had to use their AED and consider emergency services as first port of call, the store ensures two AED-trained staff are on the floor each day.

Defibrillators are not publicly funded, so businesses are responsible for stocking and maintaining their own machines.

AEDs or automatic external defibrillators treat the most common form of out of hospital cardiac arrest – ventricular fibrillation (VF).

A defibrillator delivers a shock to return heart contractions to normal.

Jenkin says there’s evidence to show defibrillators are not difficult to use, including a US study in which untrained 11 year-olds were only around 20 seconds slower than paramedics at delivering the first shock.

The first confirmed save due to AED locations data was in Nelson last year.

“The more people use [AEDs] and are exposed to them, the more confident they’ll be in a crisis,” Jenkin says. “Hopefully there will be a domino effect.” 

See for more.

 – North Harbour News

First published at: August 11, 2016 at 04:25AM.
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