The Scottish Ambulance Service will today appeal to communities across Edinburgh and the Lothians to register potentially life-saving public access defibrillators on its website.
Murray McEwan, the community resilience manager for the service, said public access defibrillators can be found all over Scotland.
They are, he said, vital pieces of equipment in the crucial early minutes following a cardiac arrest before an ambulance arrives.
He added: “When someone experiences a cardiac arrest they are unconscious and not breathing, or not breathing normally, and their life is in immediate danger, which is why these defibrillators are so important.
“Currently, anyone can acquire a defibrillator and they are often based in community centres, sports facilities and other public places.
“While there is no legal obligation to register defibrillators, the Scottish Ambulance Service now has a dedicated registration website.
“We are appealing to local communities to ensure we know where these are so when someone calls 999 we will know where the nearest defibrillator is if it is required.”
Mr McEwan said: “We need the custodians who look after these defibrillators to register them on our website.”
The appeal is part of the Registration to Resuscitation Campaign which is supported by the British Heart Foundation Scotland.
The charity’s Director, James Cant, said: “Suffering a cardiac arrest outside of hospital is our most common, life-threatening medical emergency but only around one in 20 people survive in Scotland.
“Fewer lives would be lost if more people felt confident using CPR skills and more defibrillators were available in public places.”
The Scottish Ambulance Service public access defibrillator registration website address is pad.scottishambulance.com
Lothian Tory MSP, Miles Briggs, backs the campaign and said: “Public access defibrillators can make the difference between life and death.
“There is no legal obligation to register defibrillators which is why the Scottish Ambulance Service is asking people in Lothian to help them know where these are so that when someone calls 999 the ambulance service will know where the nearest defibrillator is.
“I join the Scottish Ambulance Service in encouraging leisure centres, schools, libraries, transport services, community centres and other public places with defibrillators in Lothian to register their devices on the Scottish Ambulance Service’s website.”