Volunteer medics have been handed cars that will allow them to support paramedics in Northamptonshire.
The keys to five new Community First Response (CFR) cars were handed over today as part of an initiative being launched by East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS).
Scheme coordinators from South Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Castle Donnington took delivery of the cars at a handover event.
The volunteers attend life-threatening 999 calls in their local area and, by being so close, are able to arrive within minutes of the call for help being made.
This means patients can be treated whilst frontline paramedics travel to the scene.
Michael Barnett-Connolly, head of community response at EMAS, said: “The vehicles will allow volunteers to travel to incidents in a marked and fully equipped car.
“Currently, responders use their own vehicles to attend calls and have to transfer the equipment to a fellow volunteer when their time ‘oncall’ is at an end. This will make the transfer process faster and simpler.
“The cars have high-viz markings to give our volunteers a much higher profile – as charity organisations the schemes are grateful of support from local people and businesses.
“Members of the community won’t fail to see our responders out and about doing their great work.”
The cars are all Skoda Fabia’s and in addition to the medical kit that’s carried, they’ve been fitted with new communications equipment such as a two-way radio, telephone, hands-free kit and satellite navigation system.
EMAS will be monitoring the success of this new approach over the coming months with a view to introducing 10 more cars in 2014 /2015.