Life-saving equipment stolen from Hastings club for second time

The defibrillator outside the Alexandra Bowls Club in Hastings SUS-161124-100916001

The defibrillator outside the Alexandra Bowls Club in Hastings SUS-161124-100916001

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A life-saving defibrillator has been stolen from a clubhouse for the second time within 18 months.

The public access defibrillator was taken from the outside wall of the Alexandra Bowls Club, in Alexandra Park, some time over the weekend of November 12/13.

Those responsible have been branded ‘despicable and disgusting’.

Ian Wright, secretary of the Alexandra Bowls Club, said: “This was paid for by the Sussex Heart Charity, together with the cabinet costing nearly £2,000, and sited at the Bowls Club as it is central to the park, in full view of and accessible to any members of the public.

“In an emergency the ambulance service will instruct you how to unlock the cabinet and use the AED (Automatic External Defibrillator).

“An AED is a life-saving medical device that is required to deliver the shock to a person’s heart that has stopped and who collapses from sudden cardiac arrest.

“The victim, someone’s grandma, grandad, sibling, parent, loved one, has about five minutes from the time they collapse to their demise unless the AED is accessible and delivers the shock within that limited time.

“When you steal an AED you are stealing much more than a medical device.

“The AED gives a victim their second chance at life. When you steal an AED, you are in effect stealing a life.”

The AED was presented to the club in March 2015.

However, just three months later it was ripped from the wall and thrown into a pond.

Mr Wright said: “The first time it disappeared, it was found in the duck pond, this time it has not been found.

“If anybody can shed any light on this incident, then we and the police would like to know, though, presumably the dismantled parts will be sold on eBay?

“Despicable and disgusting.”

Terry Ayres, CEO of the Sussex Heart Charity, said: “They are important pieces of equipment so when one gets stolen, in an emergency it may cost someone their life.

“We have agreed we will replace it if it does not get found.”

If anyone would like to donate towards a replacement AED, visit www.sussexheartcharity.org.

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