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Forming a Committee Is Critical Foundation for AED and Public Access Defibrillation Program

Plays Vitally Important Role

Starting an AED program, whether it be for a youth sports program, school, business or organization, doesn't take place in a vacuum. It requires a commitment and input from experts, widespread public support, and a committee comprised of people willing to work hard to make it a reality.

Diverse Without Being Unwieldy

In order to gain broad-based community support, the committee should be comprised of "movers and shakers" in the community, bringing to the committee different talents and perspectives, and representing different constituencies within your community.

  • The committee should be as diverse as possible without becoming too large.

  • The groups from which you will want to recruit members will depend on the size of the AED program you envision and the group it intends to serve.

    • If you intend to start a Community Access Defibrillation Program (CAD) serving your entire community, you will want representation from all segments of the community, both public and private.

    • If you plan to buy two or three AEDs for a travel soccer program, members are more likely to be drawn from individuals already involved with the program, such as parents, administrators, and coaches.

Casting The Recruiting Net

Committee members should represent important and influential groups in the community, be high-level decision-makers and demonstrate commitment to the cause. Here are some of the types of people you should consider asking to join your committee:

Organization Members

  • Management or administration. Support from the top of your organization is critical.

    • Elected officials (Mayor, town/city manager, city council members/ Selectpersons)

    • School management (School board members, principals, athletic directors)

  • Employees/parents/coaches.

  • Safety committee or Emergency Response team.


  • AED champions. Perhaps the most important member of your committee. He or she is someone who is passionate about the cause itself: a parent who haslost a child, an employee with a heart condition, a volunteer fire fighter or EMT who knows first-hand the value of AED; and

  • AED opponents. As strange it may sound, having someone on the committee who is either neutral toward the idea of AEDs or opposed to them completely is a good idea. It is important at the outset to identify what opposition you will face at the committee level before making recommendations for your entire organization. If you can convince the skeptics on the committee, you will go a long way towards selling the program to a larger audience.


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