A REDUNDANT telephone kiosk has been given a new lease of life – after being transformed into a lifesaver in its own right.

The old red box has been completely refurbished and fitted with a state-of-the-art heart defibrillator in place of the old pay phone.

The cast-iron kiosk outside the village hall in the North Yorkshire community of Brompton-by-Sawdon was decommissioned by BT.

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But the village hall committee saw an opportunity and took ownership of it from the parish council.

With the help of volunteers and local business WKF, the phone box has been completely refurbished to house a community public access defibrillator.

And over the weekend it was officially launched by the chairman of the Yorkshire Ambulance Trust, Della Cannings, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Funds were donated by the George Bairstow Charitable Trust – a charity formed after the tragic death of a tireless member of the St John Ambulance.

A man with strong local connections, he was killed in a car crash on his return from a shift with the charity and was a passionate believer in the importance of community defibrillators.

Mrs Cannings said: “Having easy access to a community defibrillator means that immediate life-saving care can be provided in an emergency situation, such as cardiac arrest, in the vital minutes before the ambulance arrives.

“We know that, in many medical emergencies, the first few minutes are critical and if effective treatment can be performed within those first minutes, lives can be saved and disability reduced.”

She added: “Using a defibrillator is very straightforward and can be carried out by anyone as the machine itself talks the user through what to do step-by-step.

“These pieces of kit really do have the potential to help to save more lives and are an important asset to a local community, particularly those in rural settings like Brompton-by-Sawdon.”