Medicash has announced a scheme aimed at making the UK ‘heart safe' backed by Royle Family actor Ricky Tomlinson.
The campaign was launched by health cash plan provider Medicash and Liverpool BID Company this week.
The two organisations have teamed up with the North West Ambulance Service to initially install defibrillators across Liverpool city centre.
The life-saving machines are to be installed in key locations by September.
The aim is to ensure that no-one is more than two minutes away from a defibrillator in thecommercial and retail areas, Medicash said.
Through the ‘CardiACT' campaign, businesses in the North West are being offered a 50% discount if they want to install a device, which usually costs £1,200. They will also receive free training and support, which would normally cost over £500.
Evidence shows the chances of survival from a cardiac arrest is 80% if a device is used within two minutes. Without a defibrillator, the chances of survival reduce to just 2%.
Sue Weir, CEO of Medicash, said: "According to the British Heart Foundation there is one heart attack every three minutes in the UK. Defibrillators are vital, potentially life-saving devices and should be as common in public places as fire extinguishers. This is an important campaign and we're encouraging businesses to sign up and help make more cities ‘heart safe'."
Robert Hussey, community resuscitation manager at North West Ambulance Service said: "Each year approximately 100,000 people die from Sudden Cardiac Arrest in the UK, many in public places so we are delighted to be involved in this life saving initiative which will significantly enhance our existing defibrillator provision within the city."
Tomlinson, who underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery in 2007, said: "Having more defibrillators across the city needs to be a priority and it's great that Medicash and Liverpool BID company have got together to make this happen. Just saving one life would be great but with this scheme we're looking at dozens which is just fantastic."
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