From Norwich to Mongolia - by ambulance
Peter WalshMost ambulances hope to reach their destination within just a few minutes of getting a 999 call, but this emergency vehicle is going to take a little longer before it can help save lives - about five weeks longer in fact.Peter Walsh
Most ambulances hope to reach their destination within just a few minutes of getting a 999 call, but this emergency vehicle is going to take a little longer before it can help save lives - about five weeks longer in fact.
But there will be no disciplinary action taken against the three-man crew who are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime to transport the fully functioning ambulance more than 10,000 miles from Norfolk to Mongolia under the name Nomad Feat.
The intrepid trio plan to donate the ambulance so it can be used by one of three hospitals in Ulaanbaatar after using it to compete in the 2010 Mongol Rally.
The event, which started in 2004 and takes place in July, is normally only open to vehicles of 1200cc or less but emergency vehicles are exempt and this prompted Jon Rudd, James Snow, and Olly Reeve to search for a former ambulance.
Mr Rudd, 29 from Mulbarton, who works with Mr Snow as part of Norfolk Constabulary's Information, Communication and Technology team, said they will be joining around 400 other teams when they embark on the trip on July 24.
The Mongol Rally is something that Mr Rudd has always wanted to do and he decided to use the adventure as a way to help others.
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He said: 'With James and I working for the emergency services, we thought an ambulance would be rather apt and ideal for the local community. We have found a suitable one and should be taking delivery in the next three weeks.'
The men will take it in turns to drive the ambulance, with one sleeping in the back while the other navigates during the challenge.
He said: 'We've got the advantage of a bigger engine to get us out of trouble. It's all going to be a first but we're fairly confident we can make it. We don't have many alternatives because our flight home is from the capital so we have to get there. It's an adventure for us.'
The team have taken five weeks off work to complete the challenge which will also help raise about �5,000 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance through a Masquerade Charity Ball at the Assembly House in Norwich on Saturday, April 24 and a charity auction at Barnham Broom Hotel on Saturday, June 19.
They are also preparing for a 100-mile cycle ride along the North Norfolk Coast on May 21, starting at King's Lynn and finishing at the Norfolk police headquarters in Wymondham, which is hoped will raise �1,000 for the Mercy Corps, which supports Mongolian herding families, and the Christina Noble Foundation which helps homeless children in the country.
They would like to hear from companies who would be interested in sponsoring them.
Anyone wanting to get tickets for individual events or who wants to find out more information about the challenge should visit www.nomadfeat.co.uk or contact Jon Rudd on 07809 375843.
Are you taking part in an adventure for charity? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org