New Vehicles for Community First Responders

The Lodges meeting at Eliot Hall in Winslow have teamed up with the BMCF to provide a small fleet of 4 x 4 vehicles to serve all areas of rural Buckinghamshire.

Provincial Grand Master John Clark recently presented the latest addition to the fleet at Horwood House assisted by Assistant Provincial Grand Masters Graham Dearing and Phil Blacklaw.

Community First Responders are all highly trained volunteers who do not get paid for the many hours they give in support of their communities. Neither do they receive support from the NHS or local government. The First Responders live and work in the community they serve and are able to start life–saving treatments prior to the arrival of an ambulance in a wide variety of medical emergencies such as stroke, choking and serious injuries. They can also reach emergencies and transport medical staff from the air ambulance landing point. In rural areas it is often difficult to reach incidents in the Responder’s own cars and an off- road capability is invaluable. Steve Acton, the CFR for the Winslow area and a member of Saxon Lodge at Eliot Hall, first highlighted the need over two years ago. Since then the BMCF and the Winslow Lodges have worked together to build the fleet and extend the area of Buckinghamshire covered. The fundraising has been boosted by the generous bequest of the late Rodney Meerza who was also a Winslow Mason.

The vehicles provided all have the 4X4 capability essential at some incidents on local farms and bridleways and are fitted with scene lighting bars for night use as well as alley lights to enable the user to see street numbers easily at night. They have been placed to serve the communities of Winslow, Marlow and Thame/Haddenham.   

Over past months, all three vehicles have been regularly called on to assist in areas of heavy snowfall or muddy conditions and have definitely helped to save lives in times of medical emergency.   

Photo Left to Right: Dave Hamer (Operations manager for the community and engagement team), Rob Jackson (First Responder), Vanesa Casey (Exec officer for South Central Ambulance charity), Peter Cooper (First Responder), Steve Acton (Bucks Mason and First Responder), PGM John Clark, APGM Phil Blacklaw, Sarah Clark, APGM Graham Dearing