The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) has confirmed that its stolen defibrillator has now been returned “thanks to the power of social media”.
In an appeal which took social media by storm, and was shared thousands of times, the NWAS urged the public to come forward with any information that could lead to the safe return of the piece of “vital life-saving equipment”, which was taken from the scene of an incident in the first hour of the New Year.
The NWAS said that “an unknown individual” took the defibrillator from an ambulance vehicle on Union Street West in Oldham at about 00:15 GMT on Saturday 1 January.
The device – which is part of every ambulance’s equipment – is used in life-threatening emergencies when people are in cardiac arrest, and a spokesperson for the NWAS also revealed that these defibrillators are “much larger than the community ones and those in public buildings”, with “special training” required to use them.
“As well as being an expensive and necessary piece of equipment for any ambulance crew, using them incorrectly can cause serious harm and they can be potentially fatal in the wrong hands,” the spokesperson continued.
The NWAS issued a public appeal for the device’s return on Twitter on New Year’s Day.
But now, “thanks to the power of social media” after thousands of people from far and wide joined members of the Greater Manchester public to spread the word, the NWAS said the defibrillator is now “back in service saving lives”.
The vital piece of medical equipment was collected from Mr Fiaz Ali from Oldham.
Mr Ali spotted the defibrillator by the roadside a mile away from where it disappeared, and immediately recognised it and contacted the NWAS to arrange its safe return.
“When I saw it, I knew it was the one being talked about on social media and so I took it home for safekeeping and then immediately contacted the ambulance service,” Mr Ali explained.
“One of my family members was taken ill not so long ago and the ambulance crew used one of these machines, so I knew how important it was [and] I’m glad it has been safely found and that I was able to help.”
Oliver Mayor – Operations Manager for Tameside and Glossop at the NWAS – added: “We are very grateful to Mr Ali for his vigilance and the safe return of the defibrillator, which is in full working order and back on the road in one of our ambulances.
“I went to see him yesterday evening to collect it and thanked him personally for his help.
“We were overwhelmed with messages of support and offers to help from the public and are delighted to have it back with us.”
The NWAS Trust also said it received offers of donations to replace the defibrillator by “kind-hearted members of the community”.
The trust said it would like to thank everyone who helped aid in the device’s safe return.
Featured Image – NWAS
A look at the plans to turn historic Ancoats mill with rich musical heritage into new apartment complex
Hodder + Partners have just revealed new CGIs and a more detailed look at the plans for their redevelopment of the longstanding Brunswick Mill in Ancoats which is set to become a brand-new apartment complex.
The proposals to turn the once creative space with decades of musical heritage into a new residential site were revealed back in 2021 and approved within just a few months, despite having been met with plenty of resistance given its history and cultural significance.
Nevertheless, Northern company Big Red Construction recently kicked off the £50+ million renovation on behalf of developer Arrowsmith Investments and the apartments are projected to be finished in 2026.
With that in mind, the architectural designers Hodder have just released a new look at what Brunswick Mill is set to look like once completed:
Set to transform the historic industrial mill-turned-creative space and music studios on the edge of New Islington into 153 new apartments, ranging from one, two and three-bedroom residences, the redevelopment will be spread across two phases.
In line with designs by Hodder + Partners, the initial phase involves converting the existing mill building and the construction of new four and seven-storey elements to accommodate the remaining 127 homes on the Bradford Road plot in Ancoats.
Big Red Construction, who are also working on the Peelers Yard building for CERT Property and Myprotein founder Oliver Cookson, are expected to complete phase one by the first quarter of 2026.
Here’s another look at what living space people are already buying up:
Along with Hodder + Partners as architects, the project team also consists of HW Consultancy who are covering structural aspects, Manchester firm Clancy for mechanical and electrical considerations, as well as AM Pyro as fire engineers.
With property company Orlando Reid serving as estate agents for the project, 42 out of the 153 apartments have already been sold off-plan, with managing director Baljit Arora describing it as “an exciting period for all parties involved and for the city of Manchester”.
This is just the latest chapter in the continued regeneration of the Ancoats and the New Islington areas, which remain two of the most heavily re-developed areas in the city centre and Greater Manchester as a whole. You can see other hot properties in and around the region HERE.