Old Clitheroe phone box could be turned into life-saver

Dilapidated phone box in Clitheroe Town Centre.'Photo Ben Parsons
Dilapidated phone box in Clitheroe Town Centre.'Photo Ben Parsons

A disused and neglected red telephone box in Clitheroe will be turned into a life-saving hub thanks to an initiative by Clitheroe Town Council.

The dilapidated telephone box in Clitheroe’s Market Place is being adopted by Clitheroe Town Council so that it can be used to store a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) which can deliver a shock to a restart a patient’s heart when they are in cardiac arrest.

The idea to utilise the redundant kiosk was first mooted by Clitheroe Mayor Coun. Allan Knox and was quickly embraced by the rest of the council.

Leader of Clitheroe Town Council Coun. Mary Robinson explained: “Everyone on the town council thought it was a brilliant idea and an excellent use of a tatty old phone box.

“We hope to lead by example and that other towns and villages will do the same.”

British Telecom have been working with The Community Heartbeat Trust to help communities turn adopted red telephone boxes into local medical centres.

Pam Halstead, whose father Michael Jackson died earlier this year after collapsing in Wellgate, Clitheroe, welcomed the news.

“I think it’s a great idea to have a defibrillator in such an accessible, visible and central spot, you never know when it will be needed,” said Pam, whose family have raised more than £800 towards the cost of three parish defibrillators that will be housed in St Michael and St John’s RC Church, the adjacent primary school and The Parish Centre.

Statistics show that early defibrillation can greatly increase the survival chances of a person who has suffered a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). The defibrillators are kept in a high-visibility weatherproof cabinets which can only be opened by a member of the public with an access code given by the emergency services via a 999 call.