What is the R2R campaign about?

The main aim of the Registration to Resuscitation campaign is to increase the number of public access defibrillators (PADs) registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service across Scotland to save more lives.

What is a public access defibrillator (PAD)?

A public access defibrillator (PAD) is used to administer an electric shock to a person who is experiencing a cardiac arrest.

PADs are designed to allow non-medical personnel to save lives. They are a key part of the chain of survival when a person experiences an out of hospital cardiac arrest — call 999, start CPR, use a defibrillator.

They are also known as automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

Is a heart attack the same as a cardiac arrest?

No. A heart attack is a sudden interruption to part of the heart muscle. It is likely to cause chest pain and permanent damage to the heart – but the heart is still sending blood around the body and the patient remains conscious and still breathing.

In these cases a fast response is important but sending the most appropriate response under ‘blue lights’ to assess the patient and transfer them immediately to coronary care is the help needed.

A cardiac arrest is immediately life-threatening and occurs when the heart suddenly stops pumping blood around the body.

Someone who is having a cardiac arrest will suddenly lose consciousness and will stop breathing, or stop breathing normally. Unless immediately treated with CPR, this always leads to death within minutes. Patients suffering cardiac arrest therefore need the fastest response possible.

Where can public access defibrillators (PADs) be found?

PADs are commonly found in schools, community centres, leisure facilities, sports clubs, football stadiums, shopping centres, railway stations, airports and other public places.

Anybody in Scotland can purchase a PAD or apply for funding.

Who supplies public access defibrillators (PADs)?

There are five main suppliers of PADs — Laerdal, Physio-Control, WEL Medical, Zoll and Cardiac Science.

Why have some public access defibrillators (PADs) not been registered?

There is currently no legal obligation for owners/custodians to register PADs.

What are suppliers doing to encourage public access defibrillator (PAD) registration with the Scottish Ambulance Service?

We have been working closely with suppliers to ensure that owners/custodians now receive a letter with their purchase urging them to register the PAD on our website.

Is the issue of public access defibrillator (PAD) registration unique to Scotland?

No. Ambulance Services across the UK are currently trying to locate PADs and exploring ways to increase registration.

Why is registration with the Scottish Ambulance Service important?

Increasing the number of public access defibrillators (PADs) registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service is important for several reasons:

It will help us to locate and map PADs across Scotland which will enable our ambulance control centres to signpost bystanders to the nearest device when somebody experiences an out of hospital cardiac arrest in a public place.

It will help us to improve community safety as we can monitor PADs across Scotland to ensure they are properly maintained and in full working order.

It will help us to save more people who experience an out of hospital cardiac arrest. When someone experiences a cardiac arrest they are unconscious and not breathing and their life is in immediate danger.

How do public access defibrillator (PAD) owners register their device with the Scottish Ambulance Service?

To register their device with the Scottish Ambulance Service, defibrillator owners should visit https://pad.scottishambulance.com and complete the short form online.

How can people get involved with the R2R campaign?

We are urging people in communities across Scotland to get behind this campaign.

When you see a defibrillator in a public place, check with the owner to see if it has been registered with the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Day of Action – Friday 10 March

On Friday 10 March, we want people across Scotland to take photographs of public access defibrillators and share them on Facebook and Twitter.

If the device has not been registered, direct the owner to our registration page.

Please include the link to our registration page alongside your photographs: pad.scottishambulance.com.

Alternatively, use the shortened version for Twitter: bit.do/r2r.


Please use the campaign hashtag #R2R (including white keyboard emoji and red heart emoji) and @Scotambservice.

Please Like and Retweet our posts.


Please tag @Scotambservice.

Please Like and Share our posts. 

Further information

We are a key partner in Save a Life Scotland, which brings together organisations across Scotland to focus on Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest, in line with the Scottish Government’s “Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest” Strategy.

For further information, please email us at: scotamb.communications@nhs.net.