When emergency strikes, who are you going to call? With our Emergency Services under so much pressure these days, it is not always guaranteed that you will be reached instantly. This is where these fantastic organisations come into play...
The Thorncombe First Responders are a team made up of volunteers based at Thorncombe Parish, located in the English county of Dorset, near Honiton. The organisation was set up because of the growing strains on the NHS and the South Western Ambulance, who are constantly on demand across the nation. For example, it can sometimes take up to 30 minutes for an ambulance to reach a patient, which could be a life threatening amount of time depending on the incident.
Thorncombe First Responders are there when you need them most. Set up as part of the South Western Ambulance service, the team of 12 volunteers have been providing 24/7/365 cover for 20 years now, with past responders consisting of staff from a local education charity, staff from a local expedition company (Namibia, Nepal, etc.), retired signwriter, Chiropodist, pharmacist, horticulturalist, a speleologist, and the list goes on.
The group are extensively trained in First Aid and experienced in handling critical situations, such as needing the use of a defibrillator and advanced resuscitation. Having a local group of volunteers close to the emergency call makes having a fast response possible, as a high priority call can normally be responded to in just eight minutes. In remote rural areas this is rarely achievable with professional crews, and CFRs can therefore make a big difference. Thorncombe First Responders provide help to thousands of people in Thorncombe and surrounding villages, such as Winsham, Clapton, Cricket St. Thomas, Drimpton, Marshwood, Hawkchurch, Tatworth, and occasionally Chard and Crewkerne
Snows Toyota Honiton strongly believe that this charity is making a remarkable influence on the community and we are more than proud to lend them a helping hand. As part of the Toyota GB 'Fund for Better Tomorrow Scheme' we were able to loan Thorncombe First Responders £1,500 which will be used to help support their 20th anniversary celebrations, as well as helping to continue the running costs of the organisation.
We could not have thought of a more deserving charity, as this community based group of volunteers have made a huge difference on our emergency services. Starting up as the first rural community first response team in the country, there are now 100's more of these groups being established as the growth in demand continues to increase.
Their valuable services have been appreciated by many over the years, after saving their first life in 2001, the team received the queens golden jubilee award for volountary groups in 2003. Rosemary Walley, who first established Thorncombe First Responders in 1998, has been rewarded with the honor of collecting an MBE for her incredible work.
There is a superb sense of community spirit among the Thorncombe First Responders, as they are collecting funds from their surrounding villages in support of their brilliant and valuable efforts. Richard Holt, Ambulance First Responder Group Treasurer, explained how he is extremely humbled by the public reaction and would love to be able to gain even more awareness about first responders in the future, as the team continue to reduce the stress on our Ambulance services.
From all of us at Snows Toyota Honiton, we are thrilled to be able to help everyone at Thorncombe First Responders and we wish them all the best of luck in their future ventures. Keep up the good work!