Red Cross 4x4s to the rescue

BRITISH Red Cross teams have been working round the clock to play their part in bringing emergency relief to snowbound communities throughout the South West. In North Devon, emergency response husband and wife team Paul and Pam Willerton have been battli

BRITISH Red Cross teams have been working round the clock to play their part in bringing emergency relief to snowbound communities throughout the South West.

In North Devon, emergency response husband and wife team Paul and Pam Willerton have been battling through snow in specially equipped 4x4 ambulances to reach people in need of help.

In one case, a paramedic who had been called out to an emergency in Chumleigh was unable to reach a woman who needed to be taken to hospital. He had abandoned his vehicle and walked the rest of the way, so the Red Cross 4x4 ambulance was vital in ploughing through the snow to take patient and paramedic to hospital.

Another North Devon case saw a Red Cross crew pick up a one-year-old child who had breathing problems. This was in a particularly isolated area - totally inaccessible to a normal vehicle. Mother and child and a paramedic were taken to hospital.


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In the past week 12 Red Cross staff and volunteers, crewing four 4x4 ambulances, have answered ten requests for help in the area.

Graham Kerridge, leading the Red Cross support to the ambulance service in the South West, said: "All areas of the four counties have proved difficult for normal vehicles to access and this is where our 4x4 vehicles can really help. Our support allows the ambulance service to concentrate on the critical 999 calls. The Red Cross is at its best in emergency situations and we'll continue to be there in support of statutory services during this severe weather."

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Land Rover donated 30 vehicles to the British Red Cross for use across the UK as part of a 60-vehicle donation to mark both the 60th anniversary of Land Rover and the 100th anniversary of the Royal Charter being granted to the British Red Cross.

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