PEOPLE suffering from heart attacks in West Yorkshire will stand a better chance of survival following a £6m donation from the National Lottery for life saving equipment.
The lottery's New Opportunities Fund has made the donation to the British Heart Foundation, Britain's leading heart charity.
The money will be used to buy 2,300 defibrillators and training equipment for 32 ambulance trusts in England.
The Department of Health's NHS Plan for England includes a target of 3,000 defibrillators in public places by 2004, and 700 defibrillators have been installed so far.
Ambulance trusts will be invited to apply to the scheme to put defibrillators in such places as shopping centres and bus stations.
West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service has been invited to bid for a grant.
A spokesman for the trust said they were very interested and would be putting in an application. It was too early to say how much money they hoped to receive and how many defibrillators they would be applying for.
Only 2% of people who suffer from a heart attack have a fighting chance of survival.
But prompt treatment is imperative in improving survival rates.
Vanessa Druett, New Opportunities Fund regional manager for Yorkshire and Humber said: "It is vital that people suffering cardiac arrest receive treatment as soon as possible.
"This investment of defibrillators in the Yorkshire and Humber community could make the difference between life and death.
"Research reveals that having defibrillators close by will increase by nine-fold people's chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest."