‘Shameful’ attack on local defibrillator unit condemned

May 30, 2016

An attempt to force open an AED cabinet containing a life saving Defibrillator Device has been condemned as “shameful” and “dangerous.”

The Public Access Defibrillator cabinet situated in Crossmaglen was tampered with during the early hours of Saturday morning.  Thankfully, the attempt to open the cabinet was unsuccessful and the enclosed defibrillator remained intact.

The senseless prank prompted the Crossmaglen and District First Responders team, whose tireless efforts have facilitated the installation of the life-saving devices,  to issue an appeal to the public to be mindful of the AED cabinets in place throughout the district.

Posting on the group’s Facebook page, a spokesperson for the voluntary group said,

“Whether this was a prank or a drunken antic, PLEASE PLEASE consider that these are LIFE SAVING DEVICES. How would you feel if a member of your family needed one and there was none available because of a stupid act by somebody?”

The group also reminded people that all Public Access Defibrillator Devices are monitored by CCTV.

Damien Martin, who spearheaded the implementation of the First Responders in Crossmaglen and worked to procure the AED Cabinets locally said he was “dismayed” at the attack.

“Myself and the rest of our First Responder team fundraised thousands of pounds to ensure that we were able to place these devices into our four main towns and villages.”

“These are life saving devices and to see such an act is shameful. This puts a dampener on all the work we have been doing in the area over the last 16 months to ensure our community has every opportunity to receive emergency help when they need it.

His sentiments were echoed by local SDLP representative Pete Byrne who said,

“I can’t stress enough how dangerous mindless actions like this can be! This equipment, which has been hard fought for by the local community, is there to save lives. Any attempt to remove it or damage the cabinet could have a devastating effect should an emergency call arise.

“The First Responders have worked tirelessly to install four of these cabinets around South Armagh and acts like this can cause unwanted setbacks to their aims of having these life saving devices in every town and village.

“I would ask those responsible to please respect each and every one of these cabinets, you never know when one of your family members will need them.”