THE 999 team tackling some of the county’s toughest terrain at all hours, in all weathers, needs help.
They’re the all-volunteer Leintwardine and Bucknall Community First Responders, ever ready to race out into the wilds of the Marches borderlands reaching urgent medical emergencies.
Right now, they do that racing in their own cars with just an “on call” sign to show who they are.
But their cars can only go so far and do so much. Out on the ground a marked-up 4x4 would make all the difference.
Around £4,000 has already been raised towards that 4x4, but the recent weather showed why the cash drive has to speed up.
The snow got so bad that the team – working with mobile phones – could only respond on foot to emergencies within a reasonable distance.
Tough terrain, quite literally, goes with the territory and a “modest” 4x4 would be a big asset said responder Ian Owen.
As we reported two years ago he was inspired to become a responder after dramatically saving the life of his sister Mandy who was suf fering a heart attack.
The responders’ 4x4 would be fitted out with a digital Airwave radio of the kind West Midlands Ambulance Service has in its fast response cars and emergency ambulance units.
Airwave would offer the team a direct link to ambulance control and ambulance crews coming their way on blue lights from as far as Craven Arms, Ludlow, and Leominster - with nearly every village, hamlet, or home in between on the team’s patch.
And with a patch like that the capacity Airwave offers to track the 4x4’s location will get the team to 999s far quicker they mobile phones because its not unusual for them to be tasked over the border into Powys – Llanfair Waterdine is the record so far – or for Powys crews being sent to them.
On average, the team can expect a call a week, a litany of injuries, falls, chest complaints and the occasional cardiac arrest make up much of the workload.
In May last year, though, the team were amongst the first emergency services to reach the Baron campsite in Bucknell and the fatal carbon monoxide poisoning there.
Donations to the 4x4 fundraising drive can be sent as cheques payable to “Leintwardine and Bucknell CFRs” to Chris Sansom, fund-raiser, 14 Chestnut Meadow, Bucknell, Shropshire, SY7 OAA.