Norwich ambulance charity appeals for funds

It is the type of emergency care that is normally only given to heart failure patients when they reach a hospital.

But thanks to Norwich's Advanced Paramedic Response Unit (APRU), a life-saving continous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine has been used on more than 40 people out in the community, giving them a better chance of survival.

The APRU was formed on February 1, 2009, and since then the charitably-funded service, based at Longwater, has been on hand at some of the most serious ambulance emergencies in the county.

It works in a similar way to the air ambulance, offering trailblazing care with the support of the public under the umbrella of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust. It has a specialist rapid response vehicle, which carries a wide range of emergency equipment, and its four paramedics receive specialist advanced training.

The unit and ambulance staff were at the Forum yesterday to raise funds as the unit needs about �20,000 worth of new equipment, and to tell people about their work.

Chris Neil, one of the APRU paramedics, said: 'Over the last year we have treated more than 4,800 patients. We respond to normal 999 calls, plus we go to the most serious calls as well, such as stabbings, serious road traffic accidents and falls from a height. We still need the continued support of the public and are grateful for any help that people can give us.'

The charity is appealing for fundraising volunteers and donations. To donate to the equipment fund, or find out more about the charity, visit

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Do you have a health story? Contact Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email