The Department of Health yesterday took delivery of a new Ambulance Response Vehicle for the Ambulance Service following a kind donation by the Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital Welfare Fund which agreed to fully fund the purchase. The vehicle – a Skoda Yeti – is to be based at Ramsey Ambulance Station and will benefit the community. The vehicle is usually single manned and can undertake duties such as solo responses to emergency calls and provides an all wheel drive option. Having the ability of all wheel drive is far superior over a standard car and enables the Ambulance Clinician to access areas that may otherwise be difficult or impassable by an Emergency Ambulance. The rural landscape of the north of the Island can also pose problems for access during adverse weather such as the recent severe snowfall. The main benefit that led to the selection of the vehicle was its flexibility; allowing it to function as a response vehicle with the ability to go off-road in certain circumstances, keeping the Ambulance Clinician more self sufficient and mobile, and potentially reaching patients sooner.
Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK said:
'The Welfare Fund’s Trustees remain unstinting in their commitment to Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital and to further investment in developing vital health services for the north of the Island. I’d like to extend my sincere thanks for this latest donation which the Department and the Ambulance Service is deeply appreciative of, and which will be put to good use.'
The Ambulance Service continues to work closely with its colleagues in both the Coastguard and the Fire and Rescue Service to ensure that it can quickly assist casualties where more specialist recovery is required, which often requires access to vehicles capable of handling rough terrain. The Ambulance Service has a small team of volunteer Paramedics who work in the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) to respond to emergencies that may require specialist recovery. HART trains with the other emergency services to enable treatment of patients on scene in a hazardous area ‘hot zone’ prior to extrication.
Russell Thornhill, Chief Ambulance Officer said:
'The Ambulance Service is extremely grateful to the support offered once again by the Welfare Fund which last year donated over £18,000 to the LUCAS Chest Compression Device Appeal to provide two units for use in the north of the Island. The Trustee’s support for the Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital and the wider health services in the north, such as the Ambulance Service, makes a real difference on the front line and allows us to develop and improve services in timescales and ways that may not otherwise be possible.'
The Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital Welfare Fund is administered by three Trustees, all of whom have close connections to the Hospital. The Chair is Dr Andrew Kelsey who worked as a GP at Ramsey Group Practice prior to retirement in 2011; the Secretary is Derek Crellin who was formerly Secretary and Treasurer at the Hospital; and the third Trustee is Miss Myra Kelly MBE who was formerly Matron of the Hospital.
Dr Kelsey said:
'We’re happy to be able to make this latest donation for the benefit of the people of Ramsey and the surrounding area. Over the past several years the Welfare Fund has been able to make donations for a number of schemes such as £1.2m for the Operating Theatre, £158,000 for the refurbishment of the main entrance, and £90,000 for the Endoscope Cleaning System. There is a great deal of community support for Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital, and we’re only able to pass on funds and equipment thanks to the many generous bequests and donations. The Hospital has seen a real transformation over the past few years with the donations made by the Welfare Fund as well as by the League of Friends, the Martin Trustees and the Scott Trustees which has seen the development of the Martin Ward and Satellite Renal Unit respectively.'