Stolen life-saving item found by dogs on walk

Burgess Hill District Lions present another defibrillator to the community outside wall of Burgess Hill Theatre Club. Christine Coxshaw (President Burgess Hill District Lions Club), Nickie Smale (Team Leader, South Mid Sussex - First Responders), Chris Smith (Burgess Hill Theatre Club) and Alan Ranger (BHDLC). Pic Steve Robards SR1520060
Burgess Hill District Lions present another defibrillator to the community outside wall of Burgess Hill Theatre Club. Christine Coxshaw (President Burgess Hill District Lions Club), Nickie Smale (Team Leader, South Mid Sussex - First Responders), Chris Smith (Burgess Hill Theatre Club) and Alan Ranger (BHDLC). Pic Steve Robards SR1520060

A piece of life-saving equipment which was stolen from Burgess Hill, has been found by two dogs out on a walk.

The Middy reported, on October 5, that a defibrillator - used to save people in cardiac arrest - was stolen from the Burgess Hill Theatre, in Church Walk.

Thankfully the item was found just 500 yards away, by two dogs, called Roxy and Bailey, while they were out on a walk with their owner Denise Groves.

Roy Nightingale, clinical operations manager for the Burgess Hill area of SECAmb, said the dogs had potentially saved the community £850 as the equipment looked to still be in working order.

“How long would it have been there if it wasn’t for them? Months and months probably. I’m quite confident it’s all working.

“It will get serviced and put back in use very shortly which is good news.”

Mr Nightingale said it looked like the equipment had been in the bush since it was taken so it was most likely that the person took it, realised it was not useful to them, then chucked it straight away.

“[Denise] had a good idea of what it was. People were aware of it being stolen because of the story in the paper and social media.

“So it’s all fallen into place which is good.”

He added a word of warning to anyone else who might think the equipment looks worth stealing.

“These are only used for one thing and that’s for when you’re in cardiac arrest. They are absolutely no use to anyone else whatsoever.

“It’s no use taking them and you never know when it will next be needed. It could be one of your own who next need it.”

Burgess Hill Lions fund raised the money to buy and install the equipment as part of their drive to place these around the area to ensure they are in reach of most public areas.

Secretary for the Lions described the theft as ‘soul destroying’.

Local shop keepers and charities had offered their support to fund raise for a replacement.