Monday, 14th December – 1.50pm – Jamie Arrowsmith.
Vandalism has resulted in a defibrillator that has the potential to save lives being taken out of 24/7 use.
Based outside Barclays Bank on Breadmarket Street, Lichfield, the cabinet that protects the defibrillator has been damaged which has resulted in the life-saving device being left open to the elements.
As a result of the damage, which occurred overnight on Thursday, the defibrillator is now having to be kept inside the bank and therefore is only available for the community to use whenever it is open.
West Midlands Ambulance Service Community Response Manager Matt Heward, said: “This is extremely frustrating and could potentially end up costing a life.
“Lichfield is a busy area and somewhere we would ideally like to install more defibrillators. However, this means that temporarily there will be less available for members of the public to use in case of an emergency, the complete opposite of what we are trying to achieve.
“Defibrillators are there in the event of someone having a cardiac arrest; when they stop breathing and their heart stops beating.
“Unfortunately, if a cardiac arrest takes place in Lichfield whilst the bank is closed, we currently have one less defibrillator available to potentially save a life.”
Jamie Richards (pictured), from Defibrillator Charity AEDdonate, said: “It is incredibly disappointing that this has happened and will cost approximately £700 to replace, money that could have been put towards installing another defibrillator within the area.
“Obviously it will take some time to sort out the funding and replacement cabinet, so it is not yet possible to say how long it will be until the defibrillator is available 24/7 again.”