A village phone box is answering a new call - to help save lives of heart attack victims.

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The disused red box outside the parish church at Trimingham has been converted to house a community defibrillator.

Project leader Peter Wright has helped get several machines installed at communities in and around his former home village of Mundesley.

He spotted the disused phone box, and saw the chance to use it for a defibrillator base - believed to be the first of its kind in the county based in a old telephone kiosk.

The parish council bought the box from BT for £1, and the £2,500 machine was provided by the Jacqueline Kaye Trust charity.

Mr Wright arranged new signage and a lick of paint for the old box.

He is a community first responder who helps tend 999 cases until the paramedics arrive, and says the defibrillators increase the chances of saving cardiac patients.

“If someone has a heart attack their chance of survival drops 10pc for every minute that are not on a defibrillator - so they have 10 minutes,” he said.

The gadget can be operated by trained local volunteers, or passers by, who call 999 and are told by the ambulance service where the nearest defibrillator is and the entry code to get it.

They are then talked through the procedure by both the machine and the 999 call handler.

Mr Wright said he had trained 20 villagers to use the machine and to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but that anyone could use the defibrillator.

North Norfolk MP and care minister Norman Lamb who visited the box to support the venture said: “When someone has a heart attack, a few minutes can make all the difference. Improving access to automatic defibrillators in the community, especially in rural areas like North Norfolk, will save lives. This is a really important initiative. Well done to Peter Wright and Trimingham Parish Council for their work.”

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