July 24, 2021

We need a law to jail defibrillator vandals, say First Responders after latest mindless incident

A law designed to jail people who vandalise defibrillators needs to be passed urgently to put a stop to the mindless destruction of AED units, Bray Cardiac First Responders (BCFR) have said.

And voters should tackle their TDs and general election candidates as they call to doorsteps in the last few days of the campaign,  a spokesperson for BCFR old WicklowNow.ie.

Earlier this week, vandals smashed the glass of an AED unit in SuperValu Bray but failed to break the defibrillator itself.

“Currently there is a legal bill stuck in the system for nearly two years called the Lifesaving Bill that will impose large fines and possibly prison sentences for people convicted of interfering with AEDs and life buoys.

“While all CFR groups are non political we would encourage our supporters to pass on to canvassers at the doorsteps that this bill needs to be progressed.”

The country has been hit by a swathe of attacks on the vital devices – Wicklow alone has now seen four incidents in just 12 months.

In December thugs stole and dumped a defibrillator from Centra in Rathnew, while in October, one was vandalised in the Vevay area of Bray and another was wrecked on Strand Road in June.

“On Sunday evening into Monday morning someone set fire to newspapers at the side door of SuperValu in Castle Street shopping centre,”  the spokesperson said.

“They also smashed in the window of the AED cabinet. Thankfully the AED unit is OK and in full working order.

“While the panel in the door of the cabinet is not costly and our suppliers of the cabinet Eirmed in Cork have offered to provide it free of charge, it still means that the cabinet is out of use for a couple of days.

“The AED is still available during the opening hours of SuperValu from the customer service desk.

“This is not the first time that Bray CFR has suffered damage to our lifesaving AEDs around the town and it has also happened to many CFR groups around the country.”

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