Heart-starting equipment to fill village red phone boxes?

The phone box at Greylees. EMN-140610-135340001
The phone box at Greylees. EMN-140610-135340001

Traditional red phone boxes at Heckington and Greylees are being targeted in a campaign to convert them to house public access defibrillators.

The Community Heartbeat Trust, a national charity supporting the spread of life-saving community defibrillators that can be used by anyone in the event of a cardiac arrest, is applying to have the phones taken out of the box on The Green at Heckington and next to the Greylees level crossing on the A153 under BT’s Adopt a Phonebox scheme.

The iconic red kiosk design was launched in 1936 and by the 1960’s almost 70,000 kiosks could be found across the country but BT says both are used so little it cannot justify maintaining a telephone service. Instead BT has offered to let communities ‘adopt’ these kiosks rather than lose the landmarks and is working with the Community Heartbeat Trust to help communities turn them into homes for Public Access Defibrillators, storing the defibrillator in a well recognized, safe, weather protected location. The British Coatings Federation will also supply red paint worth £75, free of charge.

Sleaford Town Council will consider and comment on the proposal for the Greylees kiosk tonight (Wednesday), while North Kesteven District Council has initially opted to refuse the scheme for Heckington pending further information and comments from residents.