How old red telephone boxes now save lives

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New 24/7 CardiAct Telephone box outside the Town Hall. Pic © Sarah Almond JMU Journalism

Telephone boxes have been transformed into life-saving defibrillators, in an ongoing campaign to make the city “heart-safe”.

The traditional red telephone boxes have been installed with 24/7 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), with the first being placed just outside the Town Hall.

Health insurance company, Medicash teamed up with Liverpool BID Company and North West Ambulance Service for their CardiAct campaign.

CardiAct, founded by Chief Executive of Medicash, Sue Weir, began the campaign after something she experienced whilst on holiday.

She said: “Back in 2015 I went on holiday and on my way back to the airport we stopped off at Monaco and saw that they had defibrillators throughout the city and they were very clearly signposted and so I thought, why don’t we apply something like that within Liverpool city centre?”

When asked why they chose the iconic landmarks, she said it was important to have somewhere that was extremely visible, and it was a “fantastic opportunity” to acquire one once they realised they were available, and ensure there was “24 hour access for everyone”.

YouTube: Sarah Almond

Currently, there are approximately 60 telephone boxes throughout the Liverpool city centre, all within minutes away. If a member of the public has a heart attack, chances of survival within two minutes are 80%, but time after that chances drop dramatically to just 2%.

Working alongside Medicash, Rob Sharples, Community Resuscitation Development Officer at North West Ambulance Service, emphasised the significance of the new instalments.

He said: “The importance of community public access defibrillators cannot be stressed enough as it enables members of the public to perform emergency life support prior to the arrival of the Ambulance Service.

“Every second is crucial and these community public access defibrillators have been used to great effect by members of the public on numerous occasions.”

Mr Sharples explained how this collaboration has been a “privilege” to work on and says he is proud to have made a difference.

About Sarah Almond, JMU Journalism