New lease of life for Rye’s red box

An iconic red telephone box in Rye could end up being a life saver.

The telephone box, in Udimore Road, was de-commissioned by BT years ago and given to the town.

The council has been considering suggestions for its use for the past three years but was unable to agree on the best use.

Now, the Rother Responders Group has approached Rye Town Council to ask if it can install and maintain a public access defibrillator within the kiosk.

The suggestion was enthusiastically accepted by the council when it met this week.

Rother Responders is a community first responder team, comprised of volunteers trained to respond emergency calls through the 999 system in conjunction with South East Coast Ambulance Service.

The majority of its members cover Rye and the surrounding rural villages.

Their fundraising efforts have seen public defibrillators installed at a number of places including Winchelsea, Northiam, Pett Level and Westfield.

The machines can provide life-saving support in the critical few moments before an ambulance arrives if someone suffers a heart attack.

A spokesman for the local team said: “We can increase the chance of survival for patients needing emergency medical intervention.”

Cllr Jonathan Breeds said: “We have been trying to find a use for the phone box for years. We have had many proposals and this one seems by far the best.”

The council voted unanimously in favour.