Let's help them save MORE lives

TODAY the Evening Star launches its Christmas appeal – to save a life.This year Suffolk Accident Rescue Doctors have been chosen to benefit from £20,000 raised by our paper and its readers.

By Jessica Nicholls

TODAY the Evening Star launches its Christmas appeal – to save a life.

This year Suffolk Accident Rescue Doctors have been chosen to benefit from £20,000 raised by our paper and its readers.

This vital volunteer group ensures that people from road crash victims to heart attack sufferers across the county get immediate help when every second counts saving lives.

Football fan Brian Baker, 60, was one person whose life was saved by a SARS doctor after a horrific road crash two years ago on the A140.

To help more people like Brian we want to make sure that they can get to the scene as quickly as possible and so are raising this huge amount of money to buy new communications equipment for the team of volunteer doctors.

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Satellite navigation equipment, satellite tracking equipment, pagers, mobile phones and in-car radios will be part of the package that can help these heroes of the road get to the scene of an incident as quickly as they can.

It could mean the difference between life and death.

SARS doctors work day and night working alongside police, fire and ambulance and deal with all sorts of incidents.

They are a registered charity and survive solely on donations from organisations and members of the public.

Two years ago the Evening Star raised £20,000 for the charity to buy oxygen sets and defibrillators for the 56 doctors who cover Suffolk.

Star editor Nigel Pickover makes no apology for choosing the charity once more for our Christmas appeal.

He said: "They have proved in the last few years that they are a vital part of the rescue service on Suffolk's roads.

"They are wonderful volunteers who turn out day and night, rain or shine and save countless lives in difficult circumstances.

"They need to have this equipment so ambulance controls can get them to scenes quickly to continue saving lives."

Dr Paul Silverstone, chairman of SARS said the new equipment would help ambulance control track and keep in touch with doctors so they would know who was closest to the scene.

He already has tracking equipment and the benefits were clearly obvious when Dr Silverstone attended the Evening Star Press Ball earlier this year.

He said: "Ambulance control knew I was in Ipswich and said could I go out to someone who had collapsed and I was happy to do it.

"They were rather surprised when the doctor turned up to the scene in his dinner jacket – it was like a scene from James Bond."

Dr Silverstone then went back to the dinner which had been kept warm for him, but the events of the night were far from over when he came across a five car pile up on the A14 and jumped out of his car to treat the victims in his party gear.

Once the new communications systems are in place they can give the patient all round quicker and better care.

Dr Silverstone said: "We can give information back to ambulance control once we are at the scene.

"If we get there before ambulance we can let them know whether they are needed or not, or how many more they need.

"We can also call the police and the fire service and alert Accident and Emergency at the hospital to let them know what to expect – it is an all round communication system."

"Often the location is so vague you don't actually know where you are going when you set off."

With mobile phones often going out of range in rural locations the new communications systems would mean that ambulance control could contact doctors once they were on the road and let them know if they were no longer needed – enabling them to go on to another incident as quickly as possible.

It is essential that these tireless volunteers receive the equipment that is so badly needed to help them reach injured and ill people in the least time possible.

We all pray that we will never need them, but there are many people who would not be alive today if it was not for the work they do.


You can help us help them provide this vital service for all Suffolk's residents by holding fundraising events.

Let us know what you are planning by calling the Evening Star Newsdesk on 01473 282292 or email StarNews@eveningstar.co.uk.

Or send in any donations to The Evening Star SARS Appeal, Geraldine Thompson, Editors Secretary, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN.

Please make cheques payable to Evening Star SARS Appeal.