Appeal to help find defibrillator stolen from North Walsham last night in hoax call

Defibrillators pump electrical energy to the heart.

Defibrillators pump electrical energy to the heart. - Credit: Archant

Thieves stole a defibrillator from North Walsham in the early hours of this morning after dialling 999 and claiming someone was having a heart attack.

The East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) and Norfolk Police are now appealing for the defibrillator to be returned, warning that lives have been put at risk by the theft.

The ambulance service was called at 2.11am this morning and the caller reported someone was having a cardiac arrest in Bacton Road.

Five EEAST staff were sent, including two crews and a paramedic in a rapid response vehicle, but they couldn't find anyone. Paramedics then phoned the ambulance control room to check the location and the control room said they had given the caller the code to access the public defibrillator in the town.

The paramedics then saw the defibrillator from Aroma in St Nicholas Court had gone.

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Matt Broad, locality director for the EEAST, said: 'Incidents like this put patients at risk and put lives at risk, not only from the stolen defibrillator but from the ambulance crew being deployed.'

There is a second defibrillator in the town at Manor Road Junior School.

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Community defibrillators are locked in a cabinet and the keycode for the cabinet is given by an ambulance call handler when a 999 call is made about a cardiac arrest.

•Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the defibrillator should contact Norfolk Police on 101.

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