Derry ambulance: Stolen defibrillator means 'lives are at risk'

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Media captionA CPNI ambulance had its window broken and the defibrillator stolen

An independent ambulance service has said lives are at risk after £10,000 worth of equipment was stolen from one of its vehicles in Londonderry.

A heart defibrillator was among a number of items stolen from the CPNI vehicle on Monday.

The ambulance was parked in the grounds of Altnagelvin Hospital when the theft happened.

CPNI is a consortium of health care companies that offer clients products to enhance patient care.

Damage was discovered on Tuesday when the operator noticed that the driver's side window had been broken.

A sat nav and two work phones were also stolen.

'Astonishing'

Conor Carlin, who works for CPNI, said: "This defibrillator is really expensive and has many different functions. It's vital for saving lives.

"We are all quite shocked because the ambulance was on safe ground.

"The equipment is used in a very niche market so I can't see why people would want to sell it on or anything. It's astonishing.

"There is a serial tracking number so we hope it can be found.

"To replace the defibrillator, we are talking around £10,000.

"If I was talking directly to those who stole it, I'd ask them to think very clearly about what they have done. They have jeopardised the safety of patients.

"What if something happened to one of their own family? Without this equipment, lives are at risk."

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