SARS are the golden boys

GOLD medals have been awarded to heroes of Suffolk's roads who are worth their weight in gold.Suffolk Accident Rescue Service doctors, Paul Silverston and Andy Mason have both received a Royal accolade for their tireless work saving lives on the county roads.

GOLD medals have been awarded to heroes of Suffolk's roads who are worth their weight in gold.

Suffolk Accident Rescue Service doctors, Paul Silverston and Andy Mason have both received a Royal accolade for their tireless work saving lives on the county roads.

The pair, who between them have clocked up more than 50 years service for SARS, have been awarded the Queen's Jubilee Golden Medal which is given out to chosen members of the emergency services. Only 275 doctors across the country have been given the medals.

Hundreds of men and women from the county's police, fire and ambulance crews have also been awarded the medals for giving a service where they are often putting their own lives at risk in emergency situations.

SARS is a volunteer organisation where qualified doctors are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to go the aid of road accident victims.

Rain or shine, night or day, whoever is nearest to the accident at the time goes out to give vital on-the-spot treatment.

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Every second counts and the doctors work alongside paramedics and can give treatment to crash victims that would normally not be administered until they reach hospital.

The Evening Star is currently trying to raise £20,000 for the SARS to get them new equipment such as satellite navigation, tracking systems, mobile phone pagers and radios to make sure they can get to the scene of a crash as quickly as possible and transmit important information to hospitals and ambulance control.

Dr Silverston, 47, has been working as SARS doctor since 1979. It was first set up in 1972.

He said: "It is a great honour and a privilege to be recognised and nominated by one's peers and recognised for services to medicine in the community.

"I feel very humbled."

In April Dr Mason will begin his 30th year working as SARS doctor. He said: "None of us does this sort of work to receive any public recognition for it.

"We all do it because we feel it provides a valuable service for patients.

"It was very nice to receive the medal as recognition of the work we do – I was very touched."

SARS panel:

So far we have raised nearly £12,000 for SARS as part of the Evening Star's Save a Life Appeal to buy them vital on the road equipment.

Many of them use their own car to get to accidents and have little of the technology needed such as satellite navigation systems or tracking devices that will help them get to accidents as quickly as possible.

Radio contact with ambulance control is also essential along with mobile phone pagers for when they are in rural areas where mobile phones might go out of range.

To donate to the Save A Life Appeal and to help us reach the £20,000 target, money can be sent to Geraldine Thompson, Editors Secretary, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN. Cheques should be made payable to the SARS Appeal.

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