Leicestershire village's phone-box could turn out to be life-saver!
An old telephone box in a small Leicestershire village is the first in the country to hold a potentially life-saving defibrillator unit.
Residents in Carlton, near Market Bosworth, are using the kiosk to house the unit, which shocks the heart of people after cardiac arrests.
Six volunteers raised £2,000 to buy the equipment and had basic training from the West Leicestershire Community First Responders team.
Volunteer Nigel Axelrad said the defibrillator was important in a remote village such as Carlton where quick action could mean the difference between life and death.
ENJOY YOUR EVE WITH FREE ENTRANCE & 20% OFF YOUR FOOD BILL WITH...View details
NEW LEBANESE HOME BUFFET EVERY DAY @ CEDARS LEBANESE REST £ 6.99 pp STARTING @ 11 AM TILL 16:00 PM
Terms: LIMITED VOUCHERS AVAILABLE BOOK IN ADVANCE ONLY & PRINT THIS VOUCHERS CALL NOW : 01162519057
Contact: 0116 2169184
Valid until: Saturday, May 25 2013
He said: "If you live in the country, the chances of help arriving in time are not good.
"They say that every minute you are unconscious means you losing 10 per cent of your brain cells. After five or 10 minutes, that really is it."
The volunteers worked with the national Community HeartBeat Trust, to buy and install the equipment.
It is in a secure box which can be opened with a four-digit code known to the volunteers and ambulance service.
There is even a light and a small heater to keep the equipment working in winter.
In an emergency, volunteers would grab the machine as they rushed to someone's aid.
Villagers have also been told how they can help by first calling 999 then a number which contacts all the volunteers simultaneously.
Callers can also ask the ambulance service for the key code to get the defibrillator themselves.
The system is being used as an example for other Community Heartbeat Trust schemes – the trust provides defibrillation services to communities around the UK.
Spokesman Martin Fagan said: "We are doing an awful lot putting defibrillators into rural communities around the country and Carlton's scheme is particularly imaginative and creative.
"Nigel has thought about it and planned well and the learning curve they have generated is going to be very useful around the country."
Carlton Parish Council bought the telephone box for £1 after it was taken out of service last year.
Parish clerk Chris Peat said: "We were going to use it as an information kiosk with an information board and leaflet dispenser, but then we were approached by this group who wanted a defibrillator to be in an easily identifiable place where anyone could get it. We were delighted for them to install it.
"There is no way we can get an ambulance to Carlton in a reasonable time.
"That is why the first responder team was set up, because it just takes ages."
Villager Diana Scott said: "I think it's absolutely fantastic, especially in a rural area like this.
"It does give you that extra reassurance, especially when quite a few people have trained on it.
"It is just round the corner from us, and everybody knows the phone box."