Remember the prominent red public payphone stations found in the UK? These telephone boxes were a significant part of their National Heritage that formed a focal point for communities across the country. With the development of technology public payphone services have become less needed over the years. However, rather than disposing of these no longer needed telephone boxes the Village Parish Council invited suggestions for how they could be used.
Community Heartbeat Trust and BT- British Telecom, has allowed the adoption of these telephone boxes by communities into their neighborhoods as long as it continues to be of benefit. Crispin Evans from Long Whittenham in Oxfordshire suggested the box should be used for an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). Mr. and Mrs Evans lost their son Guy Evans at the age of 17 when his heart failed during a motorbike ride.
While the boxes are being utilized for a variety of things including wildlife information centers, art galleries, and Village libraries the best use has been installing an AED. Long Whittenham in Oxfordshire adopted the first ever telephone box defibrillator.
These once red public payphone stations are now housing public access defibrillators in its well recognized box. These boxes are considered safe and weather protected. The boxes are kept locked at all times to prevent being stolen. Upon entering the booth a rescuer calls 999 (UK version of 911), they are given a code that unlocks the box to retrieve the AED.
Many villages like Devauden are away from an ambulance or paramedic station. This distance causes a delay in treatment of the individual experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest. Having implemented the telephone box defibrillator is a sure way to save lives, a great desire of Beth Chesney-Evans and Crispin Evans.
Because it’s not just enough to install these defibrillators in public attraction and rural areas without proper training there are community sessions on AED training and CPR. The community is taught how to recognize someone having a sudden cardiac arrest versus a person who has only fainted. They are trained to quickly begin chest compressions the correct way and utilize the AED.
The communities, a proud set of individuals continue coming together finding ways to raise money for the installations of these AED’S and excited to do so knowing the cause will help save a life!
Register for a CPR class near you and be on the look out for these telephone box defibrillators on your visit to the United Kingdom.
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