OSHKOSH - The search is on in Oshkosh for a missing automated external defibrillator. The tool is also known as an AED.
This spring, nine of the more populated outdoor areas in Oshkosh gained a potentially life-saving tool. But after just a few months, that number is down to eight. A new AED disappeared from the Fugleberg Boat Launch.
“It's a very important project and we are really committed to making this project work,” said Diane Abraham, Oshkosh Area Community Foundation.
The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation and the city's fire department teamed up to raise more than $50,000 for the AEDs. While some of the defibrillators went to law enforcement, the others were placed in public in an effort to make the community heart safe.
“If someone is having a heart attack, it is a very good tool to try to bring them back,” said John Holland, Oshkosh Fire Department.
Holland isn't sure if any of the public AEDs were put to use yet, but he says other defibrillators in the community have saved up to ten lives.
“We use them all the time.”
Each one of these costs about $1,200. Officials say they don't really have any value other than for someone who needs it in an emergency situation.
“You would really have a hard time selling it on eBay or Craigslist, because it would kind of raise a flag where did this come from,” said Holland.
The device also only works on someone that has an irregular heart beat. Fire officials say other communities put alarms on the units in hopes they are only touched in an emergency.
“It sounds like we might have to do that and the thing is its hard because we have to be able to get easy access to those. We can't lock them up, we can't whatever, so you still have to be able to get at them easy,” said Holland.
Meanwhile, money will continue to be raised to buy more AEDs.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the Oshkosh Police Department at (920) 236-5700.
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