Ariz. scavenger hunt to help form AED database

The month-long community contest includes cash prizes, and aims to help dispatchers better direct the public to AED locations prior to EMS arrival

By Kimberly Matas
The Arizona Daily Star 

TUSCON, Ariz. — It’s all fun and games until someone’s life is saved.

That’s why the Tucson Fire Department and the University of Arizona Department of Emergency Medicine are hosting HeartMap Tucson Challenge.

The monthlong scavenger hunt asks players to find the locations of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in Tucson so emergency dispatchers can compile a comprehensive database of the device locations, said Capt. Barrett Baker, spokesman for the fire department.

Cash prizes range from $50 to $5,000.

“There really are so many different manufacturers of these things and they can be in churches, they can be in public buildings; we don’t know where they are at,” Baker said.

The defibrillators are electronic, briefcase-size devices that can be used prior to the arrival of EMTs to help someone who has collapsed during a heart attack.

Often they are housed in clear glass wall boxes, sometimes next to fire extinguishers. The spot is generally marked with the symbol of an electrical charge passing through a heart shape. Each device has voice and visual prompts that guide the user through the necessary steps to revive a victim.

HeartMap game players will assist firefighters and emergency physicians by reporting the location of AEDs in Tucson and Pima County.

To participate in the free contest, individuals or teams must register online at

When an AED is located in the Tucson area, participants must provide a brief description of it on the contest website, including the building address for the AED, its location within the building and whether the device appears to be ready for use.

A $5,000 grand prize will be awarded to the individual or team that identifies the highest number of unique AEDs. “Unique” means a player or team has to be the first to find the AED for it to count toward their score. The grand prize will be awarded when at least one person or team identifies 500 AEDs, or all contest participants collectively identify 750 AEDs.

Ten $50 prizes also are available — one each for being the first person to identify a pre-selected AED.


©2014 The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.)

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