New Rapid Response Vehicle for Air Ambulance

October 15, 2013 by Tracy

DSAA New RRVDorset and Somerset Air Ambulance took delivery of a new Rapid Response Vehicle (RRV) last week.  The Skoda Octavia Scout was purchased by the Charity to replace an older model which has served the Charity for a number of years. 

The vehicle will enhance the existing service that Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance provide by being able to respond to incidents when elements restrict the helicopter flying.  It also gives the Charity additional resources to despatch, in the need of a medical emergency which requires both helicopter and land vehicle. 

The new RRV has ‘All Wheel Drive’ capabilities providing better road holding and handling and its off-road capabilities are exceptional.  It is equipped with the same high standards and base level of equipment that you would find on a land ambulance including: Oxygen, Response Bags, Paediatric, Burns and Asthma Kits, Defibrillator, Major Incident Triage Packs, and Traction Splints.

The car was purchased by the Charity and converted by the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASfT) to ensure that it meets all the standards and regulations of their existing fleet of RRV’s.  

All maintenance and safety inspections will be conducted by the SWASfT Fleet Operations team every six weeks to ensure the vehicle abides by all safety regulations and is fit for the road.  It will be based alongside the helicopter at the Charity’s Henstridge airbase.

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance Chief Executive Officer, Bill Sivewright said, “We have been planning the new purchase for about two years due to the age of our existing model.  Providing continuity of our service is paramount and the RRV plays an important part in allowing us to do that by bringing additional resources and expertise to the scene of an incident.  The previous RRV was needed approximately 50 times last year, mostly during the winter months but in some instances over the summer.  The new vehicle has already been put to use and is proving a valuable, necessary asset to the Charity.”