Communities are being offered the chance of financial help to purchase key lifesaving equipment.
The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) is offering funding for new community defibrillators.
The NEAS and North East Ambulance Service Charitable Fund are offering £500 and support to community groups in 60 target areas.
Among the areas included in the initiative are Whitley Bay Golf Club, the NE30 1 and NE29 6 areas of North Shields, plus Wideopen and Seaton Burn.
Community development officer Alex Mason said: “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 seven to ten 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.”
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.
To apply and view the map of current defibrillators see www.neas.nhs.uk/our-services/community-defibrillators/funding-opportunities
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.”
Chairman of the North East Ambulance Service Charitable Fund Douglas Taylor said: “We want to encourage people throughout the region to apply for a community defibrillator if the location falls within one of the key target areas.
“The push for more defibrillators throughout the region is to support community groups to reach a defibrillator in time if someone is in cardiac arrest to increase their chance of survival.”
To donate to the fund, visit https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/northeastambulanceservicetrustfund
For more information on the NEAS Charitable Fund visit www.neas.nhs.uk/get-involved/making-a-donation