A phone box in a Moray coastal village could provide the solution to a community’s search for a home for life-saving equipment.
BT moved its obsolete telephone out of the booth on Garmouth’s High Street earlier this month.
And, within days, Innes Community Council approached the telecoms company with a request to buy it to house a defibrillator.
After securing the deal – for £1 – the group has now started a fundraising campaign to raise money to purchase the life-saving equipment, which could cost up to £2,000.
Group secretary Jim Mackie believes the new facility in the village could prove invaluable due to the amount of people walking on a coastal path between the mouth of the River Spey and Lossiemouth.
Studies done by the community council at the beginning of the year found that up to 50 people used the well-trodden route every hour.
And Mr Mackie reckons the remote nature of the village could hamper access for emergency services if a walker suffered a heart attack.
He said: “There are a fair amount of people who walk along the coast in the area. If somebody had an emergency situation, realistically the only way to extricate somebody would be by helicopter.
“Time is so critical in those situations and, if we have a defibrillator in the village, it would be a valuable asset.
“Thankfully, something like that has never happened, but it’s better to be prepared.”
Notices have now been affixed to the phone box to inform residents and visitors that the telephone has been removed and the amenity is now being maintained by the community council.
The group is currently preparing bids for grant money to bolster fundraising efforts to buy a defibrillator.
Mr Mackie added: “Phone boxes are being used for these things more and more these days.
“Quite often, defibrillators can be kept in community centres or places like that where there could be issues getting keys to get in.
“This phone box is right in the middle of the village and people can get to it whenever it is needed.”