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Could Bromley's phone boxes transform into life-saving hotspots?

PUBLISHED: 10:02 28 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:02 28 July 2016

Phone boxes converted into defibrillators

Phone boxes converted into defibrillators

Archant

A new report suggests the change could provide better and quicker access to the devices in an emergency

Bromley’s remaining phone boxes could soon house life-saving heart attack equipment, after a new report was backed by the borough’s London representative.

Gareth Bacon, who represents Bromley and Bexley at the Greater London Assembly, has backed calls from a newly-published report claiming phone boxes should provide access to defibrillators.

The Conservative assembly member said: “There is no question we should be making these life-saving devices as widely available as possible and where better to put them than highly-visible and easily-accessible phone boxes?”

Last year, 277 people suffered a cardiac arrest in Bromley.

But survival rates across London remain as low as nine per cent.

Never Miss a Beat - Improving London’s response to Cardiac Arrests, claims putting defibrillators in phone boxes would provide “better and quicker access to the devices in an emergency”.

The report is calling for Bromley communities to take advantage of the ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme.

Under the scheme, community groups can buy their local phone box for £1.

In Cumbria, locals have taken advantage of the scheme to install the life-saving equipment.

The defibrillators are stored in tamper-proof boxes and unlocked with a PIN code given over the phone by a 999 operator. The intelligent machines cannot be misused as they only deliver a shock if they cannot detect a heart rate in the patient.

Mr Bacon added: ““Better access to the right equipment and better education among the general public could ensure victims get life-saving support until the paramedics can arrive.

“This simple idea has the potential to save lives in Bromley and across the capital and I will be urging the Mayor to adopt the recommendations in the report.”

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