Philips HeartStart MRx monitor-defibrillator similar to the
device taken from a St John Queenstown ambulance on Sunday
night. Photo supplied.
An 18-year-old man has been apprehended by Queenstown
police following the theft of a $30,000 defibrillator from an
ambulance while its crew dealt with an emergency.
St John Queenstown ambulance officers were ''distraught and
extremely disappointed'' by the theft of a Philips HeartStart
MRx monitor-defibrillator from the closed, unlocked ambulance
during a medical call at Pinewood Lodge, Hamilton Rd, at
10.50pm on Sunday, St John Central Otago territory manager
Kelvin Perriman, of Queenstown, said yesterday.
''While the ambulance crew were attending to the patient
inside, someone ...entered the ambulance and removed a cardio
monitor and defibrillator,'' he said.
''The crew were unaware until they got back to the station
the device had gone from the ambulance, so potentially it
could have put lives at risk, although we do carry a smaller
back-up automated external defibrillator.''
Queenstown volunteer firefighters, answering a false alarm in
nearby Robins Rd at 11.10pm, saw a man, carrying the red
defibrillator case, with a woman.
Police were contacted and the area was searched but the
offender could not be found, Senior Constable Chris
Blackford, of Queenstown, said yesterday.
An 18-year-old man was apprehended by police yesterday in
relation to the incident, although details about charges were
Mr Perriman said the MRx had been recovered and appeared
undamaged, but it would be out of use while it was sent away
St John Queenstown had two other devices, so service would
not be compromised.
However, Mr Perriman said coping with tens of thousands of
summer holidaymakers put St John under pressure.