Tech Talk: Bringing life back to abandoned phone booths

A small community in Northern Ireland has brought life back to their abandoned phone booth by retrofitting it with an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The community of Crossgar, population 1500, has also had more than 10% of its population trained in CPR and First Aid by the Red Cross in the hopes that in the event of a cardiac emergency someone trained in CPR will be nearby.

Phonebox AED Crossgar Photo Credit:


In an effort to tackle heart disease, the community has turned to this innovative way to enable access to a defibrillator and encourage the local community to be involved in the initiative and be first aid trained. While lots of communities have defibrillators, a small number of people know how to access and can confidently use them in a health emergency.

The kiosk in Crossgar is the first in Northern Island to be retrofitted, but city officials believe the idea can and should be replicated in other cities as payphones are being all but abandoned with the rise of home and mobile phone lines. The phone booths that were once a lifeline for residents to communicate is now empowering them to boost their own community resilience.

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