CONCERNS have been raised after attempts failed to access two different wall-mounted defibrillator machines in Grayshott during a medical emergency on Sunday afternoon.
Thankfully, passers by were able to perform CPR straight away when a man collapsed within 150 metres of both machines at around 3.45pm, but others keen to help were foiled in their attempts to unlock either village defibrillator.
One of those at the scene was a retired police officer, who preferred not to be named.
“Neither could be opened,” he said. “I ran to the one at Grayshott Dental Surgery in Crossways Road and there was already someone there on the phone. Someone else also ran to the one in Headley Road.
“There was a man lying in the road next to a car. He was in a bad way but two guys were doing what needed to be done. They were getting advice on how to do CPR over the phone and they were very good.
“People in Grayshott have obviously paid to get the two defibrillators. It was just so frustrating they couldn’t get to use either of them. They told me they had the codes but they couldn’t open them. One guy had turned up with a pickaxe in desperation to force them open. Fortunately, just at that moment the ambulance turned up.”
South Central Ambulance Service was closest to the scene when the emergency call was made. A spokesman confirmed it was a medical emergency and a Hampshire Fire and Rescue co-responder, ambulance and paramedic team eader in a rapid response vehicle, attended the incident and worked at the scene.
The man was taken to Royal Surrey County Hospital emergency department, arriving at 5.15pm.
Why it proved impossible to access either defibrillator remains a mystery as it was subsequently confirmed by Grayshott Dental Surgery and Grayshott Surgery Patient Participation Group (PPG) that both were fully operational and there was no problem unlocking them with the codes given, when tested.
The PPG installed the machine provided by Community Heartbeat Trust (CHT) and funded by the community, on the outside wall of Richard Warren Powell in Headley Road.
Committee member Jan Glynn, said: “We are extremely saddened and concerned to learn it appeared it was not able to be used.
“We are investigating the exact details given to the member of the public with CHT and South Central.”