A life-saving defibrillator installed at Charing Cross in town has been removed after an islander hit their arm on it and complained to the Parish.
The Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) was fixed on the Co-Op Locale building, but has now been moved inside the store manager’s office, where it will be available to those who may need it during the shop’s trading hours.
Local Operations Manager and Paramedic Gordon Hunt drew attention to the move in a tweet.
A real shame to see a vital piece of life saving equipment removed from our town today. Speaking to the manager @CI_Coop they have been told to take it down. We need more Public Access Defibrillator sites around #Jersey not less. Is there a solution @StHelierJsy @SimonCrowcroft pic.twitter.com/wR53iODDUH— Gordon Hunt (@gordonjersey1) September 11, 2019
He described it as “a real shame to see a vital piece of life saving equipment removed from our town today", adding: "We need more Public Access Defibrillator sites around #Jersey not less.”
Police Sergeant David Turnbull added: “Not good - these defibrillators save lives and I bet with the exception of a minority no one had any objection to it being there - let’s just hope it gets put back soon.”
Cardiologist Dr Andrew Mitchell also asked for the defibrillator to be put back in its place, saying that such devices need to be “up front and in peoples’ views, similar to fire extinguishers.”
Pictured: The Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) at the bus station.
The Channel Islands Co-operative Society explained they had to remove the device after being asked by the Parish, “as it was a hazard to pedestrians.”
“We were told by the Parish of St. Helier that the defib located at our Charing Cross store was at a ‘pinch point', which overhangs the footway and has been identified as an obstruction,” the Co-Op said.
The company explained there was no other suitable and safe location outside the store, which led it to being moved it inside. They added that work is underway to find a permanent location for the device.
Pictured: The defibrillator was located just across the pedestrian crossing at Charing Cross. The fixing holes are still visible to the right.
St. Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft replied to Mr Hunt’s post, saying the location was dangerous and adding, “they need to find somewhere safe for it.”
This prompted Jill Bartholomew to add: “Which is more important, a child getting a bump on its head (which could just as easily happen if it ran into a wall, door or window) or someone dying of a heart attack because the defibrillator has been removed & is only available during working hours? Get a grip for God's sake!”
Silvio Alves, St. Helier's Head of Infrastructure, said the Parish had contacted the store after receiving a complaint from a member of the public who did not expect the defibrillator to be where it was and hit their arm on it.
Which is more important, a child getting a bump on its head (which could just as easily happen if it ran into a wall, door or window) or someone dying of a heart attack because the defibrillator has been removed & is only available during working hours? Get a grip for God's sake!— Jill Bartholomew (@BartholomewJill) September 12, 2019
“The Cooperative defibrillator at the corner of its Charing Cross property was positioned where an unsuspecting child could hit its head or an adult could injure him or herself in a clash with the defibrillator, which protruded from the building line a considerable amount,” he explained.
"...The Parish and colleagues at Growth, Housing and Environment reviewed the defibrillator’s location, it was agreed that this caused a risk and had to be relocated.”
Mr Alves assured the Parish supports the introduction of “life saving defibrillators” on buildings but urged property owners to give “careful consideration” to their location “to ensure they do not cause a safety risk to pedestrians.”
Video: St. John Ambulance First Aid Trainer Lynn Bouchard demonstrates how to use a public access defibrillator.
“The Parish encourages property owners wishing to install defibrillators to liaise with us or Growth Housing and Environment to discuss the best locations that will cause the least obstruction,” Mr Alves said. “Both the Parish and colleagues at Growth, Housing and Environment are happy to offer advice to the Co-operative if they wish to consider a new location for the defibrillator.”
Public Access Defibrillators are available at the Town Hall, the RBC building, and on Castle Street by Sand Street car park.
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