A VITAL piece of lifesaving equipment has been replaced after the original was stolen by vandals.

A replacement defibrillator has been fitted to the Cleator Moor Civic Hall and Masonic Centre on Jacktrees Road.

The civic hall team paid around £2200 from the fund to have the new defibrillator fitted after the previous was stolen in November 2019.

William Morley, chairperson for the civic hall said: “Due to the lockdown we’ve had trouble getting the replacement.”

But the team are happy to see the new defib finally set up in the heart of the town.

“It’s vital, it isn’t just one life, equipment like that, it could save several people’s lives. It might be needed for more than one person.

Mr Morley said: “I’ve seen it before, the police informed us once that there had been an incident and it was needed. We’ve had an event in the civic hall where someone collapsed.”

The previous defibrillator was stolen from the cabinet which was prised open with a screwdriver.

“We had a thief sneak around the back of the building and we caught him on CCTV.

He said: “They opened the cabinet and stole the defib box, breaking the cabinet which is £1200 to replace.

It was later located in a resident’s garden and handed in to a doctor’s surgery in Egremont.

Mr Morley said: “It was still operational but we decided to replace it just in case.

“The Masons put money into the community fund and spend it on special causes in the community.

And a new defibrillator was one of the causes deemed to be a high priority.

Mr Morley said: “It’s vital that everybody has access and it is available for the community.

“It could be anyone in the offices or shops in Cleator Moor.”

Access to the equipment if someone falls ill could save precious minutes which can mean the difference between life and death.

Mr Morley said: “Every minute you’re down it costs 10 per cent of your life expectancy.”