FARNHAM Town Council and Heartstart Farnham Lions have joined forces to create a defibrillator heart register.

The potentialy lifesaving initiative was announed on October 16 - World Restart a Heart Day.

And now the groups are appealing for as many businesses as possible to get involved.

Defibrillators have a huge impact on survival rates for anyone who suffers a cardiac arrest out of reach of medical care, increasing it from fewer than one per cent to more than 60 per cent if applied quickly.

These lifesaving machines are small, portable and anyone can operate one, with no training necessary.

Many businesses own one of these devices for use by their own staff, but Heartstart and the council would like them to register their machines with both the South East Coast Ambulance Service and with the Heartstart team.

Farnham mayor David Attfield said: “Having an up to date and comprehensive register of defibrillators in Farnham means that when the ambulance service receives a call about somebody having a cardiac arrest, the operator can direct the caller to the nearest available defibrillator, which could save a person’s life.”

The NHS, the British Heart Foundation and Microsoft are in the planning stages of a national register, but the Heartstart scheme and the council are keen to get the provision in Farnham mapped as soon as possible.

Tom Quinn, from Heartstart Farnham Lions, added: “The more defibrillator heart restarters we know about, the faster they can be retrieved and taken to patients in need, dramatically improving chances of survival.

“The vast majority of cardiac arrests occur where people live, so I would like to take this opportunity to encourage local communities thinking of having a defibrillator in their residential street or village to get in touch with Heartstart.”

Jo Michaelides, from Heartstart Farnham Lions, said: “Farnham is lucky in that we have an increasing number of public access defibrillators. However, if we can map all the defibrillators in the area, including ones in shops and offices, it will potentially reduce the amount of time taken to get one on to a casualty.

“In a cardiac arrest, the priority is to call for help and compress the chest, but if someone can also bring a defibrillator into play, the casualty’s chances of survival increase dramatically.”

On World Restart a Heart Day in Surrey, the South East Coast Ambulance Service teamed up with the British Heart Foundation and St John Ambulance to provide free CPR training in schools and community groups.

Members of the Heartstart team offered further support during several of these events and felt this would be a good time to ask for help from the community.

If your business or home has a defibrillator and you are happy to have it registered with the ambulance service and the council, please e-mail [email protected] or drop into the town council office on South Street.

To book a lifesaving course, visit the heartstartfarnhamlions.co.uk.