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Lifesaving defibrillator is opened in iconic red phone box

PUBLISHED: 10:02 28 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:39 28 November 2017

At the opening of a new defibrillator phonebox in Haddiscoe. Picture:  Barry Stone

At the opening of a new defibrillator phonebox in Haddiscoe. Picture: Barry Stone

Archant

A former telephone box has been transformed into a potentially lifesaving defibrillator station thanks to the efforts of a Norfolk community.

Andy Holt, chairman of the Haddiscoe Charity, at the new defibrillator phonebox in Haddiscoe. Picture:  Barry Stone Andy Holt, chairman of the Haddiscoe Charity, at the new defibrillator phonebox in Haddiscoe. Picture: Barry Stone

The device, which can give a high-energy electric shock to the heart to someone who is in cardiac arrest, has been opened on the main A143 road in the centre of Haddiscoe.

Margaret Stone, county councillor for the area and vice chairman of Norfolk County Council, said the community could be proud of what they had achieved.

Mrs Stone, who has a background in the health service, said she was well aware of the dangers of cardiac arrest, in particular, affecting young men.

She said: “Just like smoke detectors in our homes, we hope they will never be needed, but if they are, a life may be saved.

At the opening of a new defibrillator phonebox in Haddiscoe. From left, William Kemp, district councillor, Margaret Stone, vice chairman of Norfolk County Council,  Tim Haycock from the parish council, and Andy Holt, chairman of the Haddiscoe Charity. Picture: Barry Stone At the opening of a new defibrillator phonebox in Haddiscoe. From left, William Kemp, district councillor, Margaret Stone, vice chairman of Norfolk County Council, Tim Haycock from the parish council, and Andy Holt, chairman of the Haddiscoe Charity. Picture: Barry Stone

“It is great to see more and more communities working so closely together to achieve this across our county.

“The kindness and generosity of local Haddiscoe people has shown what ordinary people will do to help others in an emergency.”

The defibrillator was opened at a ceremony on Saturday, November 25.

The iconic red telephone box was obtained from BT, who will continue to supply light and energy to ensure quick and easy access to the defibrillator at all times of the night and day.

The Community Heartbeat Trust supplied advice and support for the installation of the device, and training so residents know how to use it.

Resident Andy Holt is chairman of the Haddiscoe Charity, which, during the past year, raised enough money to purchase the machine and renovate the phone box, replacing glass panes and repaint in the correct pilar box red.

Mr Holt said the charity had its origins in the mid-16th century, when properties were donated to the village to help local people and causes, and so the new defibrillator is part of a long standing tradition.

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