APPLICATIONS are now open for a funding scheme to help roll out life-saving defibrillators across West Oxfordshire.

West Oxfordshire District Council is giving every town and parish council the chance to get up to £900 towards an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for the local communities.

The £27,000 scheme, launched in conjunction with South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS), was announced in January and the council has already been contacted by interested communities.

Town and parish councils can now officially apply to receive the funding towards an AED and storage box, which normally costs up to £1,800.

A generous donation from an anonymous donor has given enough funding to pay for devices in 24 of the district’s towns and parishes while council funding will help the remaining 30 purchase their own.

Councillor Mark Booty, Cabinet Member for Health, said: “There has been an awful lot of interest in this scheme and we are extremely pleased to now be in the position to get the ball rolling on it.

“I would urge towns and parishes to grasp this opportunity. These devices can mean the difference between life or death, particularly in rural areas like ours that are affected by ambulance and emergency response times."

Dick Tracey, divisional responder manager for SCAS, added: “Having these machines, particularly in the villages, will significantly increase chances of survival.”

The deadline for applications to the scheme should be made by Wednesday, April 30.

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