New emergency vehicle to beat target

THIS is the latest weapon in the ambulance service's battle to beat the clock.Five new Honda CR-V response vehicles are going into service to replace old models and update the fleet.

THIS is the latest weapon in the ambulance service's battle to beat the clock.

Five new Honda CR-V response vehicles are going into service to replace old models and update the fleet.

One of the first on the road was at Ipswich, where a team of rapid response paramedics will operate the vehicle seven days a week.

Equipped with satellite tracking and navigational aids, the vehicles have played a key role in improving the service's speed of response to life-threatening emergencies.


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Although always backed up by a conventional ambulance, the rapid response paramedic can often stand the following vehicle down if transport to hospital is not required, releasing vital resources for another call.

The vehicles carry all the life-saving equipment and medication held in a conventional ambulance other than stretchers.

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Paul Henry, assistant director of operations at the East Anglian Ambulance Service, said a shortlist of vehicles was drawn up before opting for the Hondas.

"We looked at a number of other options, but the users have been very happy with the Hondas and they've proved a durable and reliable vehicle capable of working in all conditions," he added.

A fully equipped vehicle costs about £35,000 and is leased by the ambulance service for five years.

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