Mayor of Sunderland condemns vandals after life-saving defibrillator cabinet is damaged

An Automated external defibrillator cabinet at St Mary’s & St Peter’s Community Project in Sunderland has been damaged by vandals.

Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 5:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st July 2020, 5:10 pm

The cabinet, which holds an automated external defibrillator (AED), is now out of commission after vandals have removed the door which requires a code to be accessed when needed.

Fortunately vandals didn’t take the AED however with St Mary’s & St Peter’s Community Project being closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is now unaccessible to emergency services and the public.

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The cabinet at the community project was funded and installed by Cardioproof – a non-profit organisation based in the North East who are aiming to get more defibrillators on the streets by reducing the cost for organisations.

Michael Norton is one of the founding members of the charity, he has explained how important these cabinets are for the local communities they serve.

He said: “While an ambulance is on the way to a casualty, if two people are present, one can start chest compressions while the other gets the defibrillator.

“During a cardiac arrest, for every one minute delay in getting the heart restarted, it adds a ten per cent chance that they won’t survive.

Mayor of Sunderland Councillor David Snowdon has condemned the damaged caused to an AED cabinet.

"Those people who may have been safe as the defibrillator was in place now might not be.”

He said via Twitter: “I’m so sorry to see this wilful damage, equipment like this saves lives. If anyone has any information that can help identify these vandals please contact our local police on 101.”

Cardioproof’s Michael has confirmed that a replacement has arrived and will be fitted as soon as possible.

Vandals removed the door to the cabinet but did not take the defibrillator.

He added: “Once the community project reopens, we will get the replacement fitted.

"Cardioproof have taken the financial hit this time however we won’t always be in a position where we can do it.

"I urge that if people see these cabinets when they are out and about to please leave them alone and don’t interfere with them.”

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