Paul Bodman, Event First Aid Co-ordinator for the area, said: ‘Since buying a converted Land Rover ambulance in January it has proven to be a vital resource for our emergency response work.'
This ambulance has already been on active duty during the music festivals at Womad and Glastonbury, as well as the Burghley Horse Trials, but its duties continue all year round. 'We don’t just use the ambulance at events,' says Bodman. 'Because it’s a 4x4 we can reach people living in remote areas who need the Red Cross’s support during periods of severe winter weather that causes problems such as flooding and transport accidents.’
The Defender is specially converted for the British Red Cross by MMB Conversions during a six-week conversion. Uprated suspension and brakes are fitted to a strengthened Defender 130 chassis, followed by the installation of the ambulance body, wiring and interior fittings. Finally the vehicle is given emergency lights and a full paint job, and is then ready for action.
The partnership between Land Rover and the Red Cross originated in 1954, when Land Rover supplied a Series I to the British Red Cross in Dubai as a mobile dispensary. More recent contributions from Land Rover include the funding to retrofit 30 defibrillators into previously-donated vehicles, and the loan of additional Land Rovers to help support the British Red Cross during severe winter weather.
In 2010 the global initiative ‘Reaching Vulnerable People Around the World’ between Land Rover and the British Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched. It supports two extensive Red Cross community programmes in China and Sierra Leone, and provides additional support for Red Cross and Red Crescent programmes in 15 countries worldwide.
Further information can be found at redcross.org.uk/landrover