Discussions have begun in a Perth community on whether a disused phone box could be used to install a defibrillator unit.
North Muirton residents are being asked for their views, with the area’s Community Council consulting the Community Heartbeat Trust on the plan. The charity advises communities on the best ways to install the life-saving equipment.
North Muirton Community Council have explored a number of options for where the defibrillator would be best placed.
It is now hoping the unit will be set up at the phone box on Bute Drive opposite Perth Riverside church.
Since 2008, hundreds of phone boxes across Scotland have been taken on by communities for £1 each through BT’s Adopt a Kiosk initiative. Uses have ranged from mini art galleries, to book exchanges – as well as for storing vital medical equipment such as defibrillators which are used to treat people who are in cardiac arrest.
Adopt a Kiosk scheme
North Muirton Community Council secretary Craig Allardyce said the discussions are a result of two ideas that “merged together”.
He explained: “We’ve been talking with our local Co-Op member pioneer to see if our Co-Op would consider partnering up and find funding to install a defibrillator unit in their store.
“We also enquired to BT about their ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ scheme where communities can purchase an old phone box and repurpose it.
“As the only phone box in North Muirton is the newer style instead of a traditional red phone box BT are only willing to sell the kiosk if it was to be repurposed as a defibrillator unit.
“From there, BT put us in touch with the Community Heartbeat Trust who provided us with a lot of information and a checklist for how take the idea forward.”
He added: “The early stage plan will be discussed at the next committee meeting and we are looking for thoughts and comments from the community to back up the plan and move it forward.”
‘The difference between life and death’
A trained first aider, Mr Allardyce believes it is “important” for communities to invest in defibrillator units, which allow anyone to potentially save a life.
He said: “We feel that a defibrillator is a vital piece of equipment and are very keen to have one installed.
“Residents having that awareness of a defibrillator nearby could be the difference between life and death.
“For the low costs involved to buy and maintain, and with funding available, the return is huge.
“North Muirton has a strong community spirit with everyone looking out for each other and a defibrillator will only strengthen that.”
He also urged Perth and Kinross locals to familiarise themselves with nearby defibrillator units using the council website.
Anyone who wishes to provide their views can email the North Muirton Community Council at firstname.lastname@example.org