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Stolen defibrillator beyond repair

Flagstaff Team

Irreparable… Ngataringa Tennis Club president Allister Irving and committee member Janine Jones with the recovered defibrillator, which was later found to be water-damaged

A defibrillator stolen from Ngataringa Tennis Club, exactly a year after a previous theft, has been found. But testing last week showed water had entered the $2000 unit, rendering it beyond repair.

The company Heart Saver has loaned the club a second-hand defibrillator, and former club president and Harcourts agent Peter Restall is investigating  the possibility of the Harcourts Foundation funding a replacement.

The automated external defibrillator (AED) box outside the club was tampered with and the heart-saving device stolen on 24 November.

An AED stolen from the same spot exactly a year earlier has never been recovered, but a neighbour to the club found the recently stolen item around 200m from the tennis courts.

It is not known if was dumped straight after the theft or several days later.

Members remain aghast at the thefts, especially when the original AED saved a man’s life on the nearby Navy sports grounds, just days after it was first installed.

Club committee member and heart-attack survivor Janine Jones said she “didn’t like to point the finger” but the thefts had occurred right after school finished for the year. She hoped the AED wasn’t taken as some sort of dare. “It is not something to mess around with  –  it really can save a life.”

The club is committed to keeping a defibrillator so people at the nearby playground or Navy playing fields have access to it. It is investigating the installation of a security camera to detect any vandalism or theft. The camera would have a sensor to alert committee members if the box was opened, as well as an online viewing option.

This article originally appeared in the 13 December edition of the Devonport Flagstaff. Download PDF.