Cash boost for emergency team

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A SCHEME which responds to people taken ill suddenly in the town has been given a cash boost.

Eastbourne Ambulance First Responders is a group of voluntary members of the community trained to respond to emergency calls through the 999 system in conjunction with the ambulance service.

The charity was presented with a cheque for £450 from the HSBC Eastbourne sales and service manager Claire Bagnall, based at the branch in Terminus Road.

Prospective responder Andrew Bettis, who works for HSBC, ran the Eastbourne Half Marathon to raise much-needed funds for the Ambulance Responders.

HSBC agreed to match his effort of £450 pound for pound under the bank’s charity scheme.

Eastbourne Ambulance First Responders are based within the community in which they live or work and can arrive at the scene of any medical emergency within a few minutes of the 999 emergency call - often providing life-saving care until an ambulance arrives.

The Eastbourne Responder volunteers team attended more than 1,000 emergency calls between April 2010 and April 2011.

The charity is funded entirely by donations.

Currently the responders use their own cars to attend emergency calls but the group is trying to raise funds to purchase and maintain a four wheel drive vehicle.

This will allow responders to turn out quickly during extreme weather such as the snow that caused so many problems earlier this year.

It will also allow them to access more remote areas of the area such as the Downs.

More details on the Eastbourne Ambulance Community Responders can be found at the website or on 07917 581530.