The North East Amulance Service is offering to help communities mend broken hearts with funding towards nine new life-saving defibrillators in the Hartlepool area.
This Valentine's Day the North East Ambulance Service Charitable Fund are offering £500 funding and support to community groups in 60 target areas of the north east.
Four areas in Hartlepool, two in Peterlee, one in Easington, one in Castle Eden and one in Wheatley Hill have been identified for funding.
Getting a defibrillator to patients earlier could mean that more people survive a cardiac arrest.
Community development officer Alex Mason said, “We know that only 8.7% of patients who had resuscitation attempted on them survived to be discharged from hospital.
"When a heart stops beating, oxygen is not being transported to the brain and other vital organs, and within four to five minutes, brain damage will start to occur without intervention.
“A victim’s chance of survival falls by around 7 to 10 percent with every minute that defibrillation is delayed.
"We regularly call upon the hundreds of community defibrillators already installed in the region to support our patients whilst an ambulance is travelling but even more in these target areas will help to cover the areas where people might not already have early access to the right equipment.
"Remember, you could be the difference between someone surviving or not.”
A defibrillator is a significant investment for any community and the NEAS charity is inviting anyone in the key areas to apply for £500 funding towards the total cost of approximately £1,500 to purchase one.
Looking at the locations of current defibrillator sites, alongside information about the health and demographics of people across the region, NEAS has highlighted 60 key areas where a defibrillator could help to make a difference in the community.
Alex added, “Evidence suggests that over a quarter of adults living in the North East currently wouldn’t perform CPR or use defibrillator for fear that they might hurt the person or do it wrong.
"Our ambulance crews know only too well that their patient has had the best chances of survival when they arrive at a job where CPR is in progress and our call handlers will talk any bystander through what to do and support them all the way if they are unsure.”
To apply for funding online and view the map of all the current defibrillators throughout the region, click here.