Project Heartbeat and AEDdonate have teamed up to form a new charity partnership to improve survival rates from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

The organisations aim to get more AEDs (automated external defibrillators) placed in Reading, Thames Valley and across the UK.

To mark the new partnership, Project Heartbeat is calling for the people of Reading to take part in a new Rescue Ready quiz to test their knowledge around the subject.

The quiz is designed to help people to learn what to do when someone goes into sudden cardiac arrest (SCA).

It asks about how to recognise the symptoms, how to perform CPR on an adult and a child, and general questions around who is at risk from an SCA – which is everyone.

Project Heartbeat - launched last year with the backing of the Reading Chronicle who sponsor an AED in Broad Street Mall - encourages businesses to sponsor community defibrillators.

AEDdonate helps schools, pubs, clubs and communities to fund-raise for their own AEDs.

Jamie Richards, chief executive of AEDdonate, said the Project Heartbeat brand would be used to shape a more concerted campaign into business to see value in sponsoring an AED in their local community.

He said: "It’s a similar fundraising message to the one we give to pubs, clubs and schools across Reading and the UK.

"Please do your bit to get more public access defibrillators in place to help us tackle out- of-hospital SCAs, which is the UK’s biggest killer."

According to AEDdonate, out-of-hospital SCAs kill 30,000 people a year.

In most communities, the average time for emergency services to arrive following a 999 call is between 8 and 11 minutes.

In the case of an SCA the victim’s survival rate drops by 7-10 per cent for every minute’s delay.

Defibrillation within 3-5 minutes of collapse can produce survival rates as high as 50-70%, but devices are not mandatory and there is a serious gap in public access provision.

For a four year deal, sponsoring businesses will get full accreditation on the installed device which includes a defibrillator, a protective cabinet and advertising hoarding plus ongoing support from AEDdonate, who will look after maintenance and any replacement parts if required.

Jamie added: "Over the course of the sponsorship, the cost is less than the price of a daily coffee, so Reading businesses can make a real difference here.

"All they need to do is commit to the process and we will take care of finding the host sites like the shopping centre and car dealership, registering the device with the local ambulance service - and making it all happen."

Shaun Ingram, managing director of Cardiac Science, said: "There is nothing AEDdonate don’t know about fundraising for communities and their track record speaks for itself.

"We are delighted that Project Heartbeat is now under their stewardship to encourage commercial organisations to join the fight against out of hospital SCAs and their devastating consequences."

Businesses or communities wanting more information about fundraising should contact AEDdonate on 01785 472224 or email, or connect with us on @AEDdonate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube.