New Blue Lights Get The Green Light At Armed Forces Day

  |  Published: Jul 8th 2013

A new rapid response emergency vehicle for RAF Halton and High Wycombe was unveiled at the Armed Forces Day celebrations by Buckinghamshire County Council Chairman Carl Etholen.

The four-wheel drive BMW X3, bought with an Armed Forces Community Covenant grant, will be used by both Stations’ Co-Response (military) Scheme to provide life-saving medical cover for the community across Buckinghamshire. Co-Response has been working as part of South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) for 10 years with the teams from RAF Halton and RAF High Wycombe, using Ford Mondeos to respond to 999 life-threatening medical emergencies; both teams are at full capacity with 25 members on each. In the last year they responded to more than 1768 emergencies, covering over 32,329 miles, and providing nearly 6232 hours of cover during 446 shifts.   

The teams set about raising funds for a third vehicle, which could also give extra traction in severe weather and thanks to the Community Covenant grant of £36,416 the teams were able to concentrate on raising £3,000 to kit out the vehicle.

Chairman Carl Etholen, who is also the county's Armed Forces Champion, said: “I am delighted the grant made the third response vehicle possible, enabling RAF responders and civilian ambulance teams to work together more effectively towards safer and stronger community. This is a very good example of the strengthening links we have in Buckinghamshire with our resident Armed Forces,” 

RAF Halton Commander Group Captain Simon Harper said: I am immensely proud of all the Royal Air Force Halton personnel who support the local community by working as Co-Responders.  I am delighted to accept this vehicle on behalf of the Station as I know it will vastly improve the valuable work undertaken by the County’s Co-Responders”.

Buckinghamshire's Community Covenant was signed last year between the Armed Forces and civilian community to encourage support for the armed forces community working and living in the county and to recognise the sacrifices they have made. Members of HM Forces crew rapid response vehicles in their spare time and attend 999 calls, they supplement SCAS in helping to improve clinical outcomes, ensuring patient safety, and provide a positive patient experience by deploying dedicated mobile health care to the community. 

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