Recipe for PR Event Laughter
Serves: 6 – 8 children and accompanying adults
Ingredients: Cardiac monitor/defibrillator, defibrillation load tester, small group of children, sense of humor, melodramatic EMS provider
1. Gather together a group of children and display your cardiac monitor while asking, “Has anyone seen a medical show where they used one of these to shock a person in cardiac arrest?”
2. Wait for responses and colorful explanations while turning on the monitor, unwinding limb leads, and plugging defibrillation cable into defibrillation load tester.
3. Ask group of children, “Who would like to get shocked?!” Savor the looks of slack-jaw disbelief on the faces of the children and adults.
4. As the bravest children begin to volunteer, hand out three ECG limb leads, one for each of the first three volunteers. Instruct them to put their thumbs on the end of the electrode. Keep one for yourself.
5. Explain to the children that each shock is delivered through a single limb lead, while the other three leads act as ground wires and will not receive a shock. Further explain this is a randomly generated circuit that changes every time the monitor charges. Claim you have no idea which single person is about to get shocked, but you’re willing to take the chance of being shocked if they are.
6. With great fear and trepidation, charge the monitor for defibrillation. Increase the distress of your expression as the monitor reaches full charge.
7. Prior to pushing shock button give a, “Guess this is goodbye” expression to your partner. One or more child volunteers may throw the limb lead down in fear. Allow them to retreat and assign another brave child to the open limb lead(s).
8. Push the shock button to defibrillate your defibrillation load tester.
9. Immediately scream in agony, drop your limb lead, and run/jump/cry as you feel is appropriate to convey that you were “shocked.”
10. After catching your breath, thank them for being brave and invite them to bring their friends back for additional demonstrations on the half-hour for the duration of the event. With their full attention at your disposal, it is also the ideal time to discuss relevant public safety messages for your organization.
11. Repeat procedure for the rest of the day, or as long as you can keep a straight face.