Community life-savers in the Vale of Belvoir receive ambulance branded vehicle

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Community First Responders (CFRs) in the Vale of Belvoir will receive one of seven ambulance branded cars to assist with the life-saving work they carry out in the area.

The East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) is investing in CFRs, members of the public who volunteer their own time to respond to emergency 999 calls, by distributing vehicles across the region.

Currently CFRs respond from their own vehicles and hand kit over to each other depending on who is ‘on call’. Having a vehicle with all of the equipment in will help the transfer process, says EMAS. Although the vehicles don’t have blue lights and sirens they are branded with ambulance livery and are highly visible, which will also help to raise the profile of the volunteers within their community

Head of community response Mick Barnett-Connolly said: “The cars are Skoda Fabia’s and in addition to the medical kit that’s carried, they have been fitted with new communications equipment including a two-way radio, telephone, hands-free kit and satellite navigation system all of which will streamline the response process meaning our volunteers can respond in their communities quicker.

“The vehicles we’ve selected are reliable, economical and have low carbon emissions so are ideally suited to the job. They will enable volunteers to travel to incidents in a marked and fully equipped car.

“The investment demonstrates a firm commitment to our CFR schemes and shows the hard work of our volunteers is highly valued.”

A pilot scheme was launched last year which introduced the first batch of five vehicles across the East Midlands, and after brilliant feedback from both schemes and their communities the trust has been able to invest in an additional seven.

Mick added: “I am keen to see how the schemes embrace the vehicles and put them to good use within their communities.”

The schemes receiving the cars, in addition to the Vale of Belvoir, are Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, Ashbourne in Derbyshire, University of Nottingham in Derby, Shepshed in Leicestershire, Oundle in Northamptonshire and Brackley in Northamptonshire. Having vehicles in these areas now means that each of the counties we serve across the East Midlands has at least three vehicles supporting CFR schemes.