Group hoping to fit defibrillators in unused public telephone boxes

The Heart of Ireland project says the public are unaware where defibrillators are

Group hoping to fit defibrillators in unused public telephone boxes

Image: Facebook/Heart of Ireland

A group is turning unused phone boxes around the country into potential life-saving devices.

The Heart of Ireland project is fitting Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDS) into old boxes in towns and villages.

The aim of the project is to see the phone box, which was once the life line that kept families together, do that once again.

The rational behind it is to make the locations of AEDs instantly recognisable across the country.

The group is calling on community groups, CFR groups and Tidy Towns committees to bring a Phone Box AED to their area, to help increase people's awareness of where they are.

The first was opened back in November 2016 in Killarney.

The group says they hope to see a national roll out "over the next few years."

Heart of Ireland's Damien Baker (left) with the Irish Telephone Box Company's national sales manager Gavin Moore (right) on Main Street, Killarney | Image: Facebook/Heart of Ireland

Heart of Ireland says: "Historically the phone box played a huge part of Ireland’s communities.

They were the lifeline that kept families together. Now they can do that again by housing these life saving devices and help the public recognise and remember the locations of the AEDs.

"The team at the Heart Of Killarney have created a template for the project. This will be provided on request to other towns that want to follow.

There are currently 13 public access AEDs in Killarney.

Damien Baker is from Heart of Ireland: "We're working on a project to see phone box defibrillators rolled out right across the country.

"A group of us from Killarney identified that there was a lack of awareness around the locations around where public access defibrillators are.

"We're working in partnership with groups all across the country to see public access Defibrillators placed in phone boxes (to) make people more aware of their locations".