Life savers on call with new ambulance

The First Responders receive the car from Arnold Clark with MSP Angus MacDonald
The First Responders receive the car from Arnold Clark with MSP Angus MacDonald

Volunteer life savers in the Forth Valley have been handed a lifeline with a new vehicle to attend emergency situations throughout the area.

Car dealership Arnold Clark provided Forth Valley First Responders with a 4x4 Kia which is kitted out with state-of-the-art communications equipment which allows the Ambulance Control Centre to track its location when attending incidents.

The on-board computer system also allows direct receipt of 999 calls which will stop delays through dispatchers passing on information verbally over the phone.

The team are all volunteers trained by the Scottish Ambulance Service to rush to emergencies before ambulances get there and attend life-threatening emergency situations which includes people suffering from allergic reactions, breathing problems, fitting, diabetic emergencies, chest pains, strokes, loss of consciousness, heart attacks and respiratory arrest.

MSP Angus MacDonald, who helped secure the vehicle from Arnold Clark, welcomed the news.

He said: “I’m aware of the good work the volunteers do and the invaluable service they give, so I was keen to help towards the first class service they provide to the local area.

“Having had the pleasure of meeting the local First Responders it is clear we could not ask for a more dedicated group of people and I wish them well.”

Eddie Hawthorne, managing director of Arnold Clark, said: “We are delighted to be able to assist. The work they do is truly commendable and we hope that our vehicle will enable them to continue providing an invaluable service to the local community.”

Forth Valley First Responders, set up in 2005, provide the service with no remuneration for volunteers.

The organisation is entirely self-funded through a linked charity and holds numerous events within local communities in the Forth Valley health board area every month. The team has responded to around 200 life-threatening incidents so far this year and now have two ambulance response vehicles.

When attending incidents, responders provide care an support to patients continually monitoring the patients pulse, oxygen levels and respiratory rates administering lifesaving treatment if the patient’s condition requires this.