Tuesday, 22nd September – 3.45pm – Jamie Arrowsmith.
A defibrillator that has the potential to save lives has been taken out of 24/7 use in a Staffordshire town after damage caused by vandals overnight.
Based outside the Co-op on High Street, Stone, the cabinet that protects the defibrillator has been damaged in two places which has resulted in the life-saving device being left open to the elements and the keypad that is used to access it partly inaccessible.
As a result, the defibrillator is now having to be kept inside the Co-op and therefore is only available for the community to use whenever the store is open.
West Midlands Ambulance Service Community Response Manager Matt Heward, said: “It is extremely disappointing to discover the damage that has been caused and the fact the defibrillator is not going to be available around-the-clock.
“Stone is a busy area and somewhere we are hoping to install more defibrillators. Unfortunately, money that has been raised to go towards those will now have to be spent on replacing the casing that has been damaged by the vandalism.”
It is not yet known how long it will take to replace the cabinet and have the defibrillator available 24/7 again.
“Defibrillators are there in the event of someone having a cardiac arrest; when they stop breathing and their heart stops beating,” Mr Heward added.
“Unfortunately, if a cardiac arrest takes place in Stone whilst the Co-op is closed, we currently have one less defibrillator available to potentially save a life.”