Phone Boxes to House Defibrillators

Manx Telecom has announced it is working with Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation to arrange for defibrillators to be installed in a number of payphone kiosks around the island that are being taken out of service.

The company is responding to the appeal by the Foundation for more defibrillators to be available following the recent cardiac arrest suffered by Danish footballer Christian Eriksen during a Euro 2020 match.

Exact locations will be decided in conjunction with the Foundation and the island’s ambulance service but will involve several of the payphone kiosks recently identified for decommissioning. 

Announcing the initiative Manx Telecom CEO Gary Lamb said he was ‘very happy the payphone kiosks would be put to such good use’. He said: ‘Everyone was shocked at what happened to Christian Eriksen at the Euros and it was very sobering to realise that lives can be saved by quick and easy access to defibrillators.

‘Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation has done such a great job here on the island to raise awareness of the value of defibrillators as well as getting young people through the heart screening programme with Cardiac Risk for the Young. We are delighted to make our old payphone kiosks available for such life-saving equipment and to fund the defibrillators themselves as part of our ongoing commitment to supporting the local community.’

Paula Lunt, who set up Craig’s Heartstrong Foundation in memory of her son added: ‘This is brilliant news for the Isle of Man as it will enable more defibrillators to be distributed around the Island. We are delighted – and very thankful – that Manx Telecom has chosen to use redundant telephone kiosks in this way.’

Manx Telecom announced earlier this year it was giving notice of decommissioning on a number of payphone kiosks where less than 40 calls a year are made. Many of these kiosks are available for community groups and other organisations to “adopt” for other uses and the company has received several expressions of interest which are currently being explored.

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