Pumping life into old phone boxes

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OLD PHONE boxes are given new life with scheme to install life-saving defibrillators.

Across Steyning, Bramber and Upper Beeding public access defibrillators (PADs) are to be put into defunct telephone boxes as part of a new safer scheme.

This idea came about after a collaboration between Steyning Area First Responders (SAFeR) and the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb).

The official launch will take place in Steyning High Street, The Street in Bramber and Hyde Square, Upper Beeding, on SAFeR Day, Saturday, October 5.

SAFeR’s chairman, Martin Leigh-Pollitt, said: “We became aware BT was disposing of the telephone boxes and because they are centrally situated, they are ideal to house this lifesaving equipment. After consultation, we bought the kiosks and, together with SECAmb, have funded the refurbishment of the boxes and installation of the PADs in heated cabinets.

“We’re doing this as although we have a team of volunteer Responders, they can’t be on call 24 hours a day. The sound of ambulances in the area is not uncommon and if someone is having a heart attack, minutes really do count. If defibrillation is given quickly, about 50% of those having a cardiac arrest can be resuscitated.”

The British Heart Foundation said these can be used without formal training. They are easy to use and give voice prompts to guide through every stage of use.

However, there will be an information session at the Steyning Centre between 2.30-4.30 pm on October 5.