A red phone box in Rutland has been given a new lease of life as the first port of call in the event of a heart attack. The decommissioned kiosk in the village of Ashwell has been fitted with a defibrillator machine, which delivers a controlled electric shock to victims to start their heart beating normally again.
It's the 2000th phone box in Britain to be taken over by the local community under BT's "Adopt-a-Kiosk" scheme. The defibrillator is locked away in a secure cabinet inside the kiosk. To open it, someone has to call the emergency services who will give out a combination code for the lock. The machine itself has spoken step-by-step instructions so anyone can use it without training. Experts say the equipment can increase the chance of surviving a sudden cardiac arrest by up to 50 per cent.
BT have marked the 2000 milestone by paying for the equipment which has been supplied by the charity, the Community Heartbeat Trust. A community normally has to raise money to buy the defibrillator itself at a cost of £1700.
The "Adopt-a-Kiosk" scheme has taken off since its launch in 2008. Since then, iconic red phone boxes have been in steep decline, with calls from kiosks down more than 87 per cent.