Last week i wrote to South Elmsall Town Council to propose that they adopt the iconic red telephone box, situated at the entrance to the market place on Barnsley Road. As of yet i am to receive an acknowledgement to that communication. I proposed that the kiosk could be adopted for just £1, by the local council, which would preserve a heritage asset in the town and for the adopted box to be transformed into a life-saving defibrillator station. The location of the telephone box is ideal, at the heart of the town. The kiosk also has an electricity supply and there are various versions of defibrillator boxes which would be ideal for use in such an environment. I have spent some time looking at the best suppliers of defibrillator boxes for such schemes and i propose that two in particular are given consideration.
Community Heartbeat Trust are specialists at converting the iconic red box into a defibrillator station and must be considered. They already work with British Telecom to convert boxes across the nation and as part of their scheme they provide a free renovation kit through the British Coatings Federation. As specialists in this area i have today contacted them to enquire as to the potential costs of the conversion, they also promote the idea of using panels within the kiosk for sponsorship to cover costs.
Defib Store appear to be another good supplier of equipment (they already have boxes in such places as the Hemsworth Miners’ Community Stadium) and they offer a paid for service. Whilst not specialising in converting a red kiosk the boxes provided by Defib Store are hardy, weatherproof and tried and tested locally. Better still they may be able to provide the equipment free of charge, via their sponsorship scheme (local sponsors would need to be found).
One off costs could prove a stumbling block for South Elmsall Town Council, who may be unwilling or unable to find a few thousand pounds to set this scheme up. Lottery funding is a potential funding avenue worth investigation, should South Elmsall Town Council agree to my proposal. With sponsorship or lottery funding to cover the costs of set up and the adoption fee of just £1 we could potentially transform a barely used and tatty red kiosk into a life saving mini medical miracle. The monthly costs to maintain the equipment, kiosk and electricity costs would be minimal, compared to the potential to preserve local lives.