Update – Roche Legal has now been informed that the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (“YAS”) has secured an extension to the website www.mapmydefib.co.uk until 31 August 2015! This gives two extra months for as many local businesses in and around York who already have a defibrillator machine on their premises to log this with YAS.

Roche Legal has joined with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (“YAS”) to work on a project to help York be more “heart safe”.

The project is two-fold – to provide access to existing defibrillators and to have a public defibrillator installed in the city centre. These machines really do save lives and vastly increase the chances of recovery following a heart attack.

The project is being spearheaded by our paralegal, Melanie, who is passionate about issues of heart safety in the community, after witnessing first-hand on a recent holiday the devastating impact that lack of timely access to a defibrillator can have on someone suffering a heart attack or other coronary problem.

The first and most urgent aspect is to get local businesses in and around York who already have a defibrillator machine on their premises to log this with YAS at www.mapmydefib.co.uk. This means that as well as being able to use it to assist members of your own business – or others in the building – your defibrillator machine could also help members of the general public. It allows the ambulance service telephone operators to direct members of the public to those defibrillators in an emergency situation. Sadly the funding for the website is due to expire on 30 June 2015. The YAS are seeking ways to extend this, but if not, you can still notify YAS of the location of your defibrillator by contacting Neil Marsay at: neil.marsay@yas.nhs.uk. Every extra defibrillator that YAS knows about has the potential to save a life.

The second part of the project is to get one or more stand-alone defibrillators installed in York city centre. These would be held in code-locked cabinets in easily accessible public locations and YAS would be able to guide people to them and provide the lock code in emergencies. This is a longer-term phase of the project and will involve a lot of different agencies in the planning and installation phases. We will be working with the British Heart Foundation and raising funds for this invaluable piece of equipment in due course.

Your defibrillator machine could really help members of the general public in an emergency and giving the YAS access to it may well save lives. Don’t delay – ensure that your defibrillator is registered now.

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For any further information about the defibrillator project.