“A Map to the Heart” Launches Just in Time For Heart Health Awareness Month -  February

Mikayla Meyler, a senior at Chatham High School and member of the Chatham Emergency Squad, is currently working on her Girl Scout Gold Award Project to create a map promoting the locations of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) throughout the Chathams.

The project, called “A Map to the Heart,” is created in cooperation with the Chatham Emergency Squad and the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation, seeking to raise awareness of the exact locations of the many AEDs in our community. But she needs your help - and is calling on the public’s knowledge to assist her in populating the database, which will be made public on the Chatham Emergency Squad’s website and will inform visitors of where AEDs can be found throughout Chatham Township and Chatham Borough.

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“AEDs are a crucial life-saving tool in the event of a cardiac arrest,” said Mikayla Meyler. “According to the National Safety Council, early access to defibrillation can increase chances of survival by 40% or more and knowing where they are located is step one in the process,” she added.

The database will consist of all AEDs located in Chatham Borough and Chatham Township – the coverage area of the Chatham Emergency Squad and it will be managed and maintained by the Squad. Anyone with responsibility for an AED is asked share to share its location and some basic information by following the link: www.chathamemergencysquad.org/aed.

“You have already made a crucial contribution to community safety by installing the device,” said Steve Davenport, captain of the Chatham Emergency Squad. “Taking a moment to update the database will increase the likelihood that it is found and used in a time of emergency.”

It is recommended that everyone gets trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the use of an automatic external defibrillator. The Chatham Emergency Squad offers free classes to the public. This training might save a stranger, a friend, or even a family member. As great as the training is, AEDs can be used without any training. Call 911 and turn the green power button on. AEDs have voice prompts that guide the user through their simple operation. The 911 dispatcher will provide further instructions until emergency responders arrive.

“No matter if you are trained or untrained in CPR or even if you’re a professional responder, please have a look at the map. Find the places you work, shop, study, worship or play and be aware where the AEDs are in your life. Fast access could make all the difference,” said Meyler.

About the John Taylor Babbitt Foundation
The John Taylor Babbitt Foundation works to prevent death by increasing awareness about the severity and prevalence of sudden cardiac arrest and educating the public to be able to recognize and respond to these life- threatening events. The JTB Foundation advises business and private organizations on the acquisition and installation of AEDs. The JTB Foundation also makes monetary grants to not-for-profits to assist in the acquisition of AEDS. If your business, club, medical practice, apartment building or any other establishment would like help in considering the purchase of an AED, learn more about the JTB Foundation at https://jtbfoundation.org/.

About the Chatham Emergency Squad
The Chatham Emergency Squad is an all-volunteer organization funded nearly exclusively by donations. In 2019 the Chatham Emergency Squad responded to 1246 emergency calls in Chatham Township and Chatham Borough and provided mutual aid to neighboring communities of New Vernon, Madison and Summit on occasion. Chatham Emergency Squad never charges for its services. The Squad provides stand-by support for community events, such
as the Chatham Turkey Trot, Fishawack, and school athletic events. The Squad also provided free CPR training to more than 400 residents, teachers, coaches, school crossing guards and emergency personnel, including fire and police. To learn more, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.chathamemergencysquad.org.