July 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
A charity is aiming to step up its lifesaving capabilities by launching a £100,000 fundraising appeal to buy a dedicated rapid response car.
Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS), which is run entirely by volunteers, has been providing expert medical help at the scene of road crashes and other emergencies for the last 40 years.
The lifesavers, who attend incidents in their spare time, are hoping to increase their resources by launching the Cars for NARS appeal to buy their first dedicated rapid response vehicle.
The charity currently has 14 doctors and paramedics, who use their own vehicles, equipped with a blue flashing light, to attend emergencies across the county.
The £100,000 appeal would look to cover the cost of a rapid response vehicle, which would be based in the Norwich area, and to buy a monitor, defibrillator, ventilation and resuscitation equipment, protective clothing, and tracking, navigation, data terminal, radios, livery, blue lights and sirens for the car.
The doctors and critical care paramedics who work on NARS have received extra training to provide trauma care and can administer more drugs at the scene of a crash or cardiac arrest to help ambulance crews.
Carl Stevenson, of NARS, said people could help in a number of ways by donating money, organising fundraising events, or by businesses sponsoring them.
“This is an ambitious project to deliver the service that we require. Having a dedicated response vehicle will allow us to mobilise quicker and will ultimately bring our expertise and equipment to patients quicker to improve outcomes. We urgently need people us to improve our service and to help us to continue to save lives,” he said.
Chris Neil, critical care paramedic, said NARS began as GPs responding to incidents from their surgeries or from home to provide extra help to the ambulance service. He added that a response car would provide a training platform for qualified doctors and paramedics to develop their skills in pre-hospital emergency care and help raise the profile of the charity. It takes about a year to give doctors and paramedics the necessary experience and supervision to provide the high level of care NARS delivers.
“At the moment we run from home in our own car with blue lights on the top and that is a vital part of the service we want to keep. A rapid response vehicle would help provide more cover and responders will provide more shift work for us and it makes it better for response times and makes us more available for hours we do not normally cover,” he said.
The Cars for NARS campaign will be officially launched at the Forum, in Norwich, from 10am on Friday. For more information, visit www.nars.uk.com