Suffolk emergency medical charity is just as busy as ever

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The Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) saw an increase in the number of requests for assistance it received in 2017.

The voluntary emergency medical charity, founded in 1972, provides specialist assistance to the ambulance service and responded to over 300 calls last year.

Almost 50 percent of the SARS mobilisations being to patients injured in road traffic collisions or suffering cardiac arrests.

Ben Hall, the SARS Operations Manager, explained: “Our volunteer responders include anaesthetists, critical care paramedics and other specialists in prehospital care.

“These clinicians can undertake advanced procedures at an incident scene, which would not normally be possible outside a hospital environment.

“SARS responders are mobilised to attend patients who need enhanced prehospital care, which can result in truly life-saving interventions.

“ We are a small charity but we can make a big difference to these time-critical patients. “

SARS responders were mobilised to over 125 different locations with towns such as Ipswich, Haverhill, Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket, Felixstowe and Lowestoft seeing regular SARS attendances.

The charity averages eight call outs to Haverhill each year and last year attended about 130 incidents in the west Suffolk area.

The charity receives no central government funding and relies on voluntary support to maintain its activity.

In 2017, SARS received just under £112,000 in donations, an increase of around £700 on the previous calendar year.

Mr Hall, who also oversees the charity’s fundraising, commented: “It’s great to increase our fundraising even by a small amount.

“For small charities like SARS, every donation makes a difference and even a few pounds can help buy a piece of kit, which could go on to save someone’s life.

“We are very fortunate that all our clinical responders volunteer their time and skills without charge, which means that we can channel more of our funds into training, the purchase of vital equipment and keeping the charity running.

“We are looking forward to 2018 and hope that we can continue to have a positive impact for the patients we treat over the next 12 months.”

If you would like to support SARS or find out more about the charity, please visit www.sars999.org.uk.