Community First Response group think outside the 'soap box' to raise funds
UPDATE: West Leicestershire Community First Response (CFR) group won the 'best turned out' award for the presentation of the ambulance and the crew who were all in their uniforms.
One of the creators of the soap box ambulance, Anthony Parkes, said: "The flying ambulance was very popular and we appeared on BBC news."
Well done to everyone involved!
One of our dedicated community first response teams (CFR) has built an ambulance soapbox to race through Hinckley town centre this Sunday.
The West Leicestershire CFR scheme came up with the soapbox attempt as part of a initiative to raise £5,000 to purchase a new response car to reach patients in their hour of need.
The soap box ambulance took a team of four people around four days to construct and paint, and it will be entered into the soap box derby in Hinckley town centre on Sunday, 7 July, in front of thousands of spectators.
CFR schemes attend patients in their local community who have called 999 for emergency medical help, and will offer immediate life-saving skills until the ambulance crew arrive.
The Hinckley group of life-saving volunteers is co-ordinated by EMAS veteran Cliff Ward who worked for EMAS for 46 years.
Cliff said: “We are not aiming to raise money as a direct result of entering the soap box derby.
“What we want is to be present in people’s mind and for the public to think about the importance of a dedicated CFR in their community.”
The CFR scheme are raising funds for a new vehicle because the existing cars on their fleet require considerable repairs, making them unreliable and no longer cost effective.
The team has already raised a substantial amount of money by working closely with local community groups and businesses in Hinckley, training them CPR and raising awareness around Community Public Access Defibrillators (CPADs).
If a CPAD is used within three to four minutes of a patient experiencing a cardiac arrest, they have a greater chance of survival.
Volunteer Anthony Parkes was behind the creation of the soap box and has 30 years of experience in assembling furniture for his business.
Anthony said: “When the race is all done and dusted we want to use the ambulance for educational purposes by taking it to future EMAS events, like Rescue Day, so the kids can have a play with the ambulance and whole families can become engaged.”
“By giving so much of our time and efforts into the community, we hope that can encourage stakeholders to think about why we need to raise the money for the new response car quickly.”
They aim to have raised enough money to purchase the vital response car by Autumn 2019 to continue supplying lifesaving patient care to the residents of Hinckley.
Anyone who would like to donate can do so by visiting the West Leicestershire CFR team website.