Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service has come to the aid of a voluntary emergency service with the provision of free office space at their Whitegates site in Hethersett. Norfolk Accident Rescue Service (NARS) will operate from this location to supply essential emergency critical care for NHS East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST).
NARS’s volunteer doctors and paramedics provide cover to the most critically ill or injured patients. Despatched by the NHS East of England Ambulance Trust (EEAST), the volunteers provide cover in a marked response car, and also from their own vehicles.
Although NARS has been operating for over 45 years, the charity has never had a proper base. So, with certain functions of the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service having migrated to Norfolk Constabulary’s police headquarters, space has been found to set up an operational base at the fire service’s site in Hethersett. For some time the charity had been using a member's garage as a store room and one of the team's spare rooms as an office.
Although there is a degree of uncertainty, for the longer term, the provision of Whitegates will help to support the essential work they do. This will also help the fire service’s recent co-responding service, as NARS will be putting their skills to good use by providing refresher training to fire service staff where possible.
Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman of Communities at Norfolk County Council said: “I am delighted that we can offer support to such a worthy organisation as the Norfolk Accident Rescue Service. The charity receives no government funding or Health Service funding, and yet one day we may be the lucky recipient of their expert assistance, whether it be at a road traffic collision or cardiac arrest.”
Paul Seaman, Group Manager and Collaboration Lead for NFRS said: “I’m delighted that we have been able to assist our colleagues from the Norfolk Accident Rescue Service to find a more suitable base of operations. There are many synergies between the two organisations, especially in the work that they undertake on a daily basis and with the recent implementation of the co-responding pilot, NARS will be able to complement our staff training programme. This partnership will further complement the work already undertaken with the EEAST.”
Paul Strutt, NARS Communications Officer said: “This is a great step forward for NARS. We are a small charity and cannot afford to divert funds from frontline requirements to pay for a commercial premises. The premises at Whitegates is marvellous, as it gives us office space, a store, meeting room and training facilities. NARS and NFRS have a long history of working together and we look forward to even closer co-working.”