Was railway station defibrillator stolen?
An Essex first responder has urged communities in the county to take greater care of their defibrillators.
The concerns come after a defibrillator needed at the scene of an accident, was found to have been missing for over a month.
Mystery continues to surround the disappearance of the defibrillator unit from Marks Tey railway station which had vanished when members of the public were instructed to use it on a man who had been hit by a car outside the station earlier this month.
Martin Ford from Colchester Community First Responders said that the units are sometimes taken by ambulance crews after they have been used, which can lead to them going missing.
"That's the most frustrating thing," said Mr Ford. "They can go anywhere."
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He said that identifying the equipment was often difficult as units were not marked up as being from a particular area.
As a result he said that defibrillators from the Colchester area had been found as far north as Norwich in the past.
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Mr Ford's team had found units in a range of conditions.
"People don't always look after it," said Mr Ford. "They are not just a box on the wall."
He said that one of the most important things for communities with defibrillators to do was to make sure equipment was still in date and that the machines had their locations written on them.
"Mark them as much as you like," said Mr Ford. "Don't just write on the case but inside as well."
He said that it was important for information about defibrillator custodians to be kept up to date.
Mr Ford urged any community groups that were struggling to look after defibrillators to get in touch with their local first responder group.
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: "If an AED is deployed the ambulance crew are to take it back from the incident to a local station where we can retrieve it and place it back into action.
"The leading operations manager team should notify the community response team they have it.
"This device was reported missing to us in August and was taken off the system, so no-one should have been asked to go and retrieve it.
"Between 1st July and 8th August there were no uses of this device, which leads us to believe it has been misappropriated."