Empty phone booths in Northampton neighbourhoods could be used for lifesaving defibrillators

Three disused phone boxes in a Northampton parish could become lifesaving defibrillators for their community.

Friday, 27th September 2019, 6:42 pm
Three disused phone booths in Duston could be used as lifesaving defibrillator kiosks.

BT Phone booths across the country are being decommissioned because of low usage, leaving many to become nothing more than wasted space.

But one Northampton district now plans to dust off three of the empty kiosks and use them to potentially save lives beginning in April next year.

Duston Parish Council will discuss adopting the booths and fitting them with defibrillators and a 999 call facility at a meeting next Thursday (October 3).

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John Caswell, chairman of Duston Parish Council, said: “At our meeting, we will be considering whether to adopt three telephone boxes that are soon to be decommissioned by BT.

"It is a shame they are going to go but with the use of mobile phones, it is not surprising.

"We have come up with the idea of turning them into mini emergency medical centres with a defibrillator and a 999 call facility. The simple fact is that you are more likely to survive a cardiac arrest the more rapid the treatment. You just never know when one of these defibrillators might be needed and it could save the life of a Duston resident."

The three phone boxes are in Weggs Farm Road, near Tesco Express; Chiltern Avenue, near Cinnamon Indian Restaurant; and Harlestone Road, close to the entrance of Firsview Drive.

The plan comes as part of a partnership by BT with the Community Heartbeat Trust charity and have promised to provide free electricity for the first seven years of the new defibrillator booths.

The three defibrillators could cost Duston Parish Council between £5,000 and £10,000.

However, the phone boxes will not be decommissioned until a consultation by Northampton Borough Council and BT is completed in approximately three months time.