Emergency volunteers launch lifesaving vehicle

The Cheshire and Shropshire Immediate Care Group (CSI BASICS), a network of volunteer medical staff, who give up their free time to support the North West Ambulance Service in emergency incidents, has launched a new BMW Rapid Response Vehicle. This was made possible after the group successfully applied for a £50,000 grant from the British Association for Immediate Care. This comes from an annual donation of £250,000 made by the County Air Ambulance HELP Appeal to support the work of groups affiliated to the association who provide voluntary immediate care services across the UK.

The BMW X5 will be active across Cheshire and Shropshire, carrying volunteer medical teams to the scene of critically ill or injured patients in the community or at the roadside.

Despite COVID, the number of CSI BASICS’ volunteers continues to grow. It currently has nine responders, supported by a further eight volunteers, who keep the charity running.

Dr Graeme Spencer, Chair, Cheshire and Shropshire Immediate Care Group, said, “We are extremely grateful for the generous donation from the HELP Appeal. The new car futureproofs our ability to respond to the sickest patients in a safe and timely manner.”

Robert Bertram, Chief Executive of the County Air Ambulance HELP Appeal, added, “These volunteers are the unsung heroes of emergency care. This important addition to their fleet of cars is in recognition of their lifesaving work – all carried out in their spare time – supporting local ambulance crews faced with hugely complex incidents, where people’s lives are at serious risk. This RRV will help these volunteers to reach incidents quickly and safely to help treat patients and give them the best possible chance of survival and recovery.”

The vehicle was purchased via BMW Government & Authorities Division and converted by Coleman Milne Specialist Vehicle Division, where Paul Gilbert added, “It was a pleasure to carry out this conversion on behalf of CSI BASICS. We fully understood what a difference this vehicle would make and we worked closely with the team to make sure the vehicle would meet the specific requirements of the team.”

CSI BASICS already operates a second-hand vehicle, which required a large amount of work in 2020. Thankfully, a local business, Jigsaw Medical, came to the rescue and covered the cost for the charity. However, following this scare, it was realised that a new vehicle was urgently needed.

The Cheshire and Shropshire Immediate Care Group is one of a network of schemes across the UK which operates under the umbrella of the British Association for Immediate Care – a national organisation.