Vandals destroy an emergency lifeline

EMMA BAILEY
Last updated 05:00 15/02/2014
evan davey
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ

DISGUST: Evan Davey, of St John, watches as Bob Ormiston, of Chorus, installs another phone at the Caroline Bay community hall after vandals ripped it off the wall.

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Senseless vandals have caused outrage by smashing the phone beside a defibrillator outside the Caroline Bay Community Hall.

In a community initiative, 28 $3000 automated external defibrillators (AED) were placed around the district. The AEDs are in locked boxes. When a person requiring the machine rings 111, a St John staff member provides the lock's combination.

The caller is also told where the nearest AED is and an ambulance is dispatched.

Chorus contractor Bob Ormiston was called to fix the phone, which is now working again.

"It is senseless vandalism. They had ripped the phone off the wall and taken it. A complaint will be made to the police and there is a security camera looking down on the phone."

Surgeon and Timaru district councillor Steve Earnshaw, who instigated the AED project, said the vandalism was disappointing.

"Thankfully we have had no damage to any of the defibrillators. Overall they have proved useful."

A major fundraising drive was launched for the project in 2011, eventually raising $100,000.

Some of that money went towards AED boxes on the outside of some Timaru buildings. Other AEDs are located within buildings open to the public during the day.

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- The Timaru Herald

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