Emergency medics hit the road in £40,000 new vehicle
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A Suffolk emergency medical charity which supports the ambulance service has put a new response vehicle on the road.
Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) has launched a new rapid response vehicle.
The Volvo XC90 (RRV) will be operational across Suffolk, carrying volunteer medical teams to help treat critically ill or injured patients in the community or at the roadside.
SARS provides specialist clinicians to assist the East of England Ambulance Service at the scenes of incidents where patients require enhanced medical care before they reach hospital.
The vehicle was bought with a £40,000 donation from the HELP Appeal, which raises money for county air ambulances and support vehicles.
The RRV, known as SMED26, will operate out of the SARS base at Woolpit, near Bury St Edmunds.
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It will be crewed by specialist clinicians including anaesthetists, emergency medicine consultants, critical care paramedics, nurses and advanced clinical practitioners.
The vehicle will carry additional equipment not found on frontline ambulances such as a portable ultrasound and an automated chest compression system, and will join an existing SARS team response car.
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SARS chairman, James Whatling said: “The ability to have two teams running concurrently is a significant development for SARS and means that we are now able to extend our reach across Suffolk and beyond.
“SMED26 will bring advanced life-saving interventions to more people who find themselves in need of the skilled assistance which SARS volunteers have provided proudly for more than four decades.
“We know the timely application of advanced care is one significant factor which can lead to a reduction in the loss of life or permanent disability following life threatening trauma or medical emergency.”
SARS operations manager Ben Hall added: “It was such a boost to receive the grant from the HELP Appeal. Its funding has enabled us to purchase this fantastic vehicle which our volunteer teams will utilise for years to come.
“We have been gradually expanding our team resources over the last couple of years and with this key bit of infrastructure in place, we can run more shifts and help more patients, which is great news.”
Robert Bertram, chief executive of the HELP Appeal added: “From road traffic collisions to suffering a sustained fall, all patients across Suffolk, who are seriously ill or injured will benefit from this new Rapid Response Vehicle.
“SARS’ selfless volunteers will be able to reach incidents quickly and safely, equipped with even more lifesaving medical kit to help give patients the best possible chance of survival and recovery.”
SARS has a network of 13 responders who are called out from their homes in and around Suffolk to help treat patients in their local catchment area.
The charity was established by local doctors in 1972 and since then has provided immediate medical care to thousands of patients and saved countless lives.