23 Feb 2015 - Vandals damage vital life-saving equipment in Ormskirk

Vandals have put people suffering from cardiac arrests at even greater risk by damaging a life-saving device, which was funded by residents in West Lancashire.

The North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) received information that the Community Publically Accessible Defibrillator (CPAD), outside the West Lancashire Borough Council office in Ormskirk, was vandalised during the evening of Monday 2 February.

Both the defibrillator and the cabinet had been placed by NWAS through the kind donation of former Mayoress, Sue Murrin-Bailey in 2012, after considerable fundraising was undertaken to place 20 pieces of life-saving equipment across the Borough.  Sue commented: “since donating this equipment volunteers continue to fundraise and provide basic life-support training. The Lancashire Defibrillator Campaign is working very closely with NWAS and we are totally disgusted that vandals would abuse this life-saving equipment.”

Cheryl Pickstock, NWAS Chain of Survival lead for Lancashire, explained: “It’s very sad to hear that this community defibrillator has been vandalised. The purpose of these vital pieces of equipment is to ensure that a defibrillator can be used at the earliest opportunity to provide essential assistance to someone suffering a life-threatening cardiac arrest. When a defibrillator is not available, the rate of survival is significantly reduced.”

The defibrillator was found in a nearby carpark but, due to the damage to the device, it must now be repaired.

“It poses a threat to residents in Ormskirk, because if someone suffers a cardiac arrest, we are no longer able to use this defibrillator,” Cheryl added. “The sooner a defibrillator can be used on a patient, the greater chance they have of surviving. All CPAD locations are researched to identify key areas and where they are required. Even a couple of minutes delay can severely impact upon the rate of survival and, ultimately, could lead to death. It’s extremely disappointing that this vital piece of equipment has been destroyed.”

Councillor David Westley, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, said: “Defibrillators help to save lives and we were happy to have one available at our offices. We are very disappointed that people’s lives could be put at risk because of this vandalism.”

Did you see anything? Do you have any information regarding this incident? If so, contact Lancashire Police on 101 and quote the incident number ‘1317’.