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Community Heartbeat Working With BT to Convert Kiosks to Defibrillator Stations

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Britain’s red phone boxes, once a lifeline of communication before the arrival of mobile phone networks, have been transformed into everything from defibrillator units and mini history museums to art galleries and book exchanges.

But now, the Community Heartbeat Trust charity (CHT), has begun to put an extraordinarily excellent idea into practice across the UK: converting the UK’s iconic, yet now inarguably redundant, red telephone booths (K6 kiosks, to those in the know) to a defibrillator station, and they’re currently in the process of converting around 1000 sites.

From Orkney to Cornwall, the Community Heartbeat Trust charity has worked with BT and local communities to install lifesaving defibrillators in local kiosks.

A converted kiosk in Denton, Lincolnshire

Martin Fagan, National Secretary for the Community Heartbeat Trust charity, said: “BT’s phone box kiosks are iconic British structures, and repurposing for this life saving use has given them a new lease of life.’

“To date, we have fully converted about 800, with another 200 underway.’

“Placing the equipment in the heart of a community is important to save on time.’

“Kiosks are historically at the centre of the community, and thus great locations for defibrillators.”

Communities can adopt a kiosk if they are a recognised public body, such as a parish council, community council or town council.

CHT is also able to adopt on behalf of the communities as well. Boxes can also be adopted by registered charities or by individuals who have a payphone on their own land.

BT will also continue to provide electricity (if already in place) to power the light for adopted phone boxes, free of charge.

Since 2008, over 6,600 phone boxes have been taken on by communities for just £1 each through BT’s Adopt a Kiosk programme.’

CHT is also converting the modern KX100 kiosks to defibrillator stations. For further information about how to apply to Adopt a Kiosk or to access application forms, simply go to www.bt.com/adopt .

Mifal HaPayis and Magen David Adom Initiative to Place AEDs in Public Areas

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Mifal HaPayis is currently launching a joint project with MDA. Joint teams have already begun this week to place the devices in the Lottery booths across the country.

The project aims to provide an electric shock to the heart in cases of out of hospital cardiac arrest as quickly as possible and increase the number of lives saved in such instances.

When a citizen identifies a case of cardiac arrest in a public setting, they will be able to call the 101 Emergency Call Center as usual.

From there they will receive instructions enabling them to identify the closest defibrillator in the area (located in dedicated Mifal HaPayis booths),

Further instructions will help them to assess the patient and to provide life saving treatment until the arrival of emergency teams.

The chairperson of Mifal HaPayis, CPA Avigdor Yitzhaki said: “The purpose of the venture is to save human lives.’

“Deploying the AED devices in the Mifal HaPayis sales booths will enable, in some cases, immediate primary care in the urban area and, in some cases, even save the lives of the most common cause of death in Israel and around the world — cardiac arrest.’

“Mifal HaPayis understands the importance of the project, and invests many resources for the community and Israeli society and there is no greater social purpose than saving human lives.’

“I congratulate the Mifal HaPayis Board who understood the importance of the project, approved it and immediately joined the mission.”

MDA Director General Eli Bin added: “Collaboration with the Mifal HaPayis through the placement of CPR devices in public places is an example of creative collaboration for the sake of saving lives.’

“This is certainly an important and clear step that will save lives and increase the chances of survival of those suffering from cardiac arrest near, and perhaps even without irreversible brain damage.’

“I thank the chairman of Mifal HaPayis, CPA Avigdor Yitzhaki, for his first-line stance, alongside MDA, with concern for public health.”