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Gallatin County 911 has teamed up with a national nonprofit in asking the public to help identify the locations of life-saving technology — and is offering a reward for doing so.

The local 911 call center and the PulsePoint Foundation, a Bay Area-based national nonprofit that builds and maintains apps to improve public safety and help emergency responders, are asking Bozemanites to identify and register AEDs, or Automatic External Defibrillators.

For each AED a person identifies using the PulsePoint AED app or the website AED.new, they’ll be entered in a drawing to win one of ten $500 Amazon gift cards, provided by PulsePoint.

Medical calls for cardiac arrests are one of the main emergency calls that the 911 center receives, said Tim Martindale, the director of Gallatin County 911. This initiative with PulsePoint will allow 911 dispatchers to see where AEDs are, instruct callers about their location, and get life-saving measures started before an ambulance has even arrived.

“If we’re able to see where they’re placed, we’re able to instruct a caller to retrieve that AED and in a lot of cases, those are life saving devices,” he said. “It’s one of those things that us as a 911 center want to use and want the ability to use, but without the community’s participation, we won’t know where those AEDs are.”

In the past year, Gallatin County 911 received 5,964 calls that either did result in the use of an AED or were likely to have resulted in the use of an AED, Martindale said. That comes down to more than 16 emergency calls per day where an AED could be used.

“Cardiac arrest is one of our highest priorities and one of our biggest medical calls when it comes to serious events,” Martindale said.

According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, more than 356,000 people in the United States experience an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest annually. The Foundation says that in more than 7% of cases, bystanders were able to locate and use an AED on a person having a sudden cardiac arrest. Bystanders delivered a shock with an AED in 1.7% of cases.

The contest is running through the end of October, which is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month. If Gallatin County residents identify the most AEDs in the area compared to other participating communities, Gallatin County 911 will receive $5,000 worth of new AEDs that can be placed in the Gallatin County 911 non-emergency vehicle or in areas where there aren’t many or any nearby AEDs.

All of the prize money is coming from PulsePoint, Martindale said, and none from Gallatin County tax dollars.

“We’re just excited about including the community in an initiative like this because ultimately our goal is to save people’s lives,” Martindale said. “This is a great way for the community who might not have that opportunity in a normal circumstance to register their AED and participate in saving someone’s life.”

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at mloveridge@dailychronicle.com or at (406) 582-2651.

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