0251 – Make Note of AED Locations

Folks like you and me pride ourselves on our situational awareness.  We are sitting with our backs against the wall watching the exits.  We are leaving extra space at stop lights and avoiding the curb lane.  We know where the exits are and we notice people that have their hoods up.  Who looks nervous and who has their hands in their pockets.  All of these things that we notice could come in handy when we find ourselves in that nasty situation.  But what things are we missing.  You folks know that I believe that it is going to happen to us eventually.  We WILL be involved in a life and death scenario, but I feel like sometimes folks spend too much time on the sexy stuff.  I get it.  I ordered a defensive pistol with a red dot optic on it from Templar Custom Arms today.  Sexy hot.  But when will I need to make a head shot with my pistol from 20 yards?  Would it be more likely that I might need some medical skills, some defensive driving skills, some conflict mediation skills?  Today we are going to take a look at an item that we need to add to our awareness checklist.



Many folks think about awareness from only one viewpoint.  Detecting the bad before they get you.  There are times when our focus should be on the bad, but awareness is much more than that.  Just like everything else in life awareness is about balance.

  • Yes be on the look out for bad, but actively increase your awareness of good
  • Keep an eye out for bad guys, but watch for good guys too
  • Be aware of danger points, but notice life saving tools too
    • Emergency exits
    • Emergency phones
    • Fire Alarms
    • Fire hoses/Extinguishers
    • First Aid Kits
    • Emergency shelters
    • and yes AED’s
As I have talked about before I used to spend a good bit of time in the mountains.  One day I was enjoying lunch in the Needle’s Eye parking are in the Black Hills of South with some good climbing friends, when we heard someone calling for help.  We scrambled over the guardrail and down hill to see what the fuss was when we found a climber that had rappelled off the end of his rope.  Upon reaching the end with 20-30 feet to go to the ground, the rope slipped through the anchor and fell to the ground with the climber.  The climber was unconscious, bleeding from the head mouth and one ear.  There was no question that head and spinal injuries were an issue to be dealt with.  The only problem was no back board.  As I surveyed the scene, Mike, one of my buddies shouted that he was on his way to the ranger station and would be back in ten minutes with the back board.  I had driven by the rangers station at the park entrance 1000 times and had never seen the back board mounted to the side of the building.  Thank goodness Mike had.  By the time the FD was on scene, with the help of my buddies I had lead our team to a successful rescue.  The climber was assessed extricated, boarded and on his way to the parking lot.  My skill set and leadership would have been useless without Mikes awareness.

Plug and Play

AED’s aren’t like backboards.  They are complex computer driven devices, but they are simple to use!

  • Direct somone to contact emergency service professionals by calling 911
  • Follow written directions to turn AED on
  • Follow verbal directions given by AED
  • No risk to someone who does not need defibrillation
  • No risk to operator if directions are followed

Get Trained

If you aren’t certified in CPR, you need to get certified.  If you are certified and your certification does not include AED use, change that.

If You Aren’t Trained, Someone Else Is

This means that knowing the location of the nearest AED can bring a lifesaving tool to someone who is trained and willing to use it.  On that accident scene in the Black Hills, I was the only one there that had the skill set to backboard the injured climber,but my skill set and leadership would have been useless without Mikes awareness.

Pay attention to your surroundings.  Know where danger AND life saving tools are located.



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