Bezeq, MDA to Convert Phone Booths Into Defibrillator Stations

A public phone booth which has been converted into a defibrillator station as part of a plan to replace thousands of phone booths by Bezeq and MDA, is seen in Tel Aviv. (Ronen Topelberg/Bezeq Israel Telecom/Handout via Reuters)

Israel’s public phone booths are being converted into lifesaving public access defibrillator stations, as part of a new national collaboration between Bezeq and Magen David Adom.

Bezeq said that tens to hundreds of phone booths would be converted. So far, a few have been transformed into bright yellow boxes housing defibrillators, which restore a heart rate to normal by providing an electric shock.

The plan still needs final regulatory approval.

Bezeq has long attempted to get rid of the phone booths, which are hardly used but expensive to maintain.

“Public telephones have been a part of us but naturally with the advancement of technology they have become redundant, and we are happy they will be renewed” for a life-saving purpose, Bezeq said in a statement.

In the event of a heart attack, a bystander could call Magen David Adom and be directed to the nearest defibrillator booth, while an ambulance is dispatched. The defibrillators are locked and can only be opened with a code.

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