Last year, North West Ambulance Service launched a campaign to help locate hidden Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) across the North West asking people to take to social media and #FindTheDefib!

The campaign saw the public, schools, organisations and celebrities using the hashtag to locate defibrillators that could potentially be used to save lives in the event of a cardiac arrest.

5,864 tweets later, we managed to locate 686 defibrillator locations, 290 of which were previously unknown to the Trust!

Shoctober red heart

What's an AED?

An Automated External Defibrillator or AED is a device that analyses the heart rhythm to detect a problem that may respond to an electrical shock. If so, it delivers a shock to attempt to restore a normal heart rhythm.

Thanks to their small size and ease of use, AEDs have been installed in many public places, increasing the number of opportunities for life-saving defibrillation.

What’s in store for 2016?

This year Shoctober is going national!

We’ve spoken to our friends at Ambulance Trusts from across the country to get involved and support us in our mission to #FindTheDefib – with more people on the lookout, we’ll be expecting to find hundreds more hidden defibrillators helping more and more lives to be saved!

We’ve launched Instagram!

To help us share as many Shoctober selfies as possible, we’ve set up our own page on the picture-sharing social media site, Instagram. Follow us @nwasoffical as there’s already some pics on there of what we’ve been up to.

Keep checking back to this page as there’ll be lots of updates closer to the time as well as downloads and information packs that will come in handy for the month!

How can I get involved?

Win your school a defib!

We’re calling on all young artists under the age of 12 to help us to design a sticker that will be placed on all our known defibrillators to make people aware that ‘NWAS knows where I am’ and to remind owners when to check the batteries. Find out more here!

We want to hear from you!

Has your life been saved by an AED or know someone else who has? We want to showcase how amazing these machines are by showcasing real stories of lives that have been saved. Get in touch by emailing


During October we’ll be asking you to forget your Pokemon hunt and get on the hunt for defibrillators. Once you find one take a selfie with you and the defib and send it to us by Facebook, Twitter or email and tell us where you are in as much detail as possible using the hashtag #FindTheDefib!

We want to see lots of fun selfies with big smiling faces! Spread the message and encourage your friends and family to take part too, the more selfies, the more lives can be saved!

shoctober panda

New defibrillator locations will be followed up to make sure we have enough information to add them to our 999 systems. This will be done in line with demands of the business. 

The countdown is on…