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Suppliers Lend Hand for UK Hearts

Friday, December 13, 2013

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Members of the British Coatings Federation are donating red paint to transform obsolete phone booths across the UK into life-saving defibrillator stations.

The British Coatings Federation; BT, a communications services company; and the Community HeartBeat Trust are partnering in the nationwide "Adopt a Kiosk" initiative to install defibrillators in rural phone boxes.

A defibrillator can deliver vital medical treatment in the first critical minutes following cardiac arrest, when the chances of survival drop dramatically with each minute. The UK Resuscitation Council recommends having a defibrillator near when medical treatment is more than five miles away, which is the case for most rural UK locations.

British Coatings Federation
Photos: British Coatings Federation

Members of the British Coatings Federation are donating paint to transform old phone booths into defibrillators in rural UK communities.

The donated paint system includes an undercoat and red topcoat, valued at £75 (about $123), for any local community that will install a defibrillator.

Rural Emergency Services

The idea started with Richard Schofield of Community HeartBeat Trust.

"There are thousands of phone boxes in rural locations throughout the UK, and many of them are sitting idle," Schofield said. "Over the next five years, we're aiming to encourage the UK's rural communities to install a defibrillator in their local phone box, with the aim to create a national network of two and a half thousand defibrillators."

Inside the phone box, a defibrillator is placed in a lockable steel box. When someone calls 999 (the UK's emergency phone number), he or she will be told where the closest defibrillator is and given the code to open the box. The defibrillator determines if a "shock" is needed and gives step-by-step voice instructions.

"We are so proud to be involved in this ground-breaking scheme in partnership with BT and the Community HeartBeat Trust," said Tom Bowtell, CEO of the BCF. "Together, we will continue to encourage local communities to make a difference to the emergency service response provided to rural parts of the country."

Adopt a Kiosk defibrillators

When someone calls the UK's emergency line, 999, for cardiac arrest, the operator will tell the closest location of a defibrillator and the code to open it.

Long Wittenham in Oxfordshire was the first UK village to have a phone box refurbished. The local Parish Council "adopted" the red phone box for £1. Installing the debrillator cost £2,000, half of which was raised by the Parish Council and half by villagers.

Donations Pour In

BCF members providing free paint for the phone boxes include AkzoNobel Decorative Coatings, Craig & Rose, Crown Paints, Firwood Paints, HMG Paints, Indestructible Paints, James Briggs, Manor Coatings, PPG Architectural Coatings, Pronto Industrial Paints, Sherwin-Williams, Tor Coatings and Valspar.

In addition, Fenton Packaging, associate member of BCF, will give free paint cans to the paint manufacturers. BT will cover the cost of maintaining the electricity supply to the phone boxes so that they are available around the clock.

"We launched the Adopt a Kiosk scheme because the red telephone box is a significant part of our national heritage," said Mark Johnson, head of the Street Payphone Business at BT.

"We're pleased to support this worthwhile project that will not only help to continue the legacy of the red kiosk, but crucially will provide local communities with such a beneficial and lifesaving function."

   

Tagged categories: British Coatings Federation; Health and safety; Paint application

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