Friday 20 October 2017

Community in shock after defibrillator is vandalised - and not for the first time

Defibrillator: stock photo
Defibrillator: stock photo

Ben Connell

A community in Cork are in a state of anger after a defibrillator which was donated to the town was vandalised.

The defibrillator, which has been used multiple times, was donated by the Mallow Credit Union to the Mallow Search and Rescue group.

The device had its casing removed and smashed on Saturday between the hours of 9:30pm and 10:00pm.

A representative of the Mallow Search and Rescue told C103s Cork Today that a group of young people were seen fleeing the scene by nearby residents.

"It's not the first time it's been vandalised but it’s pretty permanent this time," they said.

"We can’t fix it, we’ll have to get a new casing for it."

The casing for the defibrillator can cost up to €800.

The people of Mallow are now asking for CCTV to be put up around all defibrillators in the area.

"There should be CCTV installed everywhere a defibrillator is positioned and any caught tampering or damaging one in any way should be locked up no questions asked, the same for anyone doing damage to a fire engine or an ambulance," the spokesperson added.

The defibrillator cover replacement is funded by local business EireMed, and the Physical Therapy & Sports Injury Clinic have decided to cover the cost of replacing the defibrillator’s screen.

Dr Keith Swanick, Fianna Fáil’s health spokesperson in the Seanad, said the incident in Mallow is "a disgrace".

He has proposed the Life Saving Equipment Bill 2017 with states that anyone who is convicted of tampering with lifesaving equipment could be jailed and/or receive a fine.

It is set to be debated in the coming weeks.

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