Life-saving public defibrillator in Sheffield city centre out of action after attempted theft

A life-saving defibrillator in Sheffield that any member of the public can use in an emergency is out of action after someone tried to steal it.

The vital medical equipment at Showroom Cinema, on Paternoster Row, is one of 13 publicly available ‘pulsepoint’ defibrillators that save lives in the city every year.

But now, one of the crucial devices is out of commission after an unknown offender tried to break into its case.

Photos shared online by Sheffield BID, which manages the scheme, show how parts of the storage locker at Showroom Cinema were found bent out of shape on Wednesday morning (March 23) after someone tried to pry it open.

A publicly-available defibrillator in Sheffield city centre has been taken off the streets for repairs after someone tried to break into it.

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Now, although the defibrillator itself is unscathed, the lockbox has been damaged and must be taken off the streets for repairs.

Project manager Richard Pilgrim said: “It’s quite disappointing, but this is the first kind of incident we’ve had like this.

"But we will have to take it off for repairs and that could take a few weeks.

"We’re looking at what we could do about keeping that area covered while sorting the repair as quickly as possible.

"But it will come out of our maintenance budget, and might impact where we can spend money going forward.

“We do regular checks to see all the defibrillators are working and to replace components after they’ve been used, which is more often than you might think.

"It’s a really important piece of kit.

“It could just be they wanted the metal from it – I don’t think there’s much retail value in the device itself."

In case of emergency, any of the 13 Pulsepoint defibrillators can be used to potentially restart a patient’s heart and save a life – such as in October 2021, when 81-year-old Malcolm Clarke collapsed at the Odeon Cinema at Arundel Gate.

While four medical professionals in the audience came to his aid, members of the public and Malcolm’s son-in-law were able to find the nearest device at Sheffield Interchange.

HIs granddaughter Leah Shave later said: “Amazingly, after two shocks from the defibrillator, Malcolm's pulse returned and he was transported to Sheffield General Northern Hospital where he grew more and more stable.”