Phone box in Ashwell is fitted with defibrillator to help save lives

Mark Johnson of B.T. with Ashwell parish councillor Wendy Cheeseman

Mark Johnson of B.T. with Ashwell parish councillor Wendy Cheeseman

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A red phone box is to play a vital role in a village community once more after being fitted with a lifesaving defibrillator.

The phone box, in Ashwell, is the 2,000th in the country to be adopted from BT by a local parish council.

The defibrillator located inside the box has been paid for by BT and supplied by the Community Heartbeat
Trust.

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the defibrillator is locked inside a cabinet which can be opened during an emergency with a combination code available by calling 999.

The machine provides spoken step-by-step instructions, analysing the victim to determine if they are suffering from a heart attack and delivering a powerful, but controlled electric shock to restore normal heartbeat if required.

David Thwaites, vice chairman of Ashwell Parish Council, said: “This is such an attractive village and this historic old red kiosk is very much a feature of the street landscape.

“We are most appreciative of BT’s generous offer to fund the defibrillator.

“We do get a lot of visitors to Ashwell every year and the kiosk really could help save lives of residents and visitors in the future.”

Martin Fagan, secretary of the Community HeartbeatTrust, said: “We are delighted that Ashwell has had a defibrillator installed.

“We have worked closely with the village andBT’s support is greatly appreciated.”

Defibrillators available to the community have also been placed in other parts of the area, including 
Uppingam. A campaign is also running to get one for Oakham.

A parliamentary debate is due to take place onMonday to discuss plans for defibrillators to be placed in schools and public buildings.