Katy salutes life saving riders

Volunteer Riders SUS-160113-141029001
Volunteer Riders SUS-160113-141029001

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has praised the work of a volunteer group who play a vital role in transplanting blood and other urgent medical items to NHS hospitals in the county.

She paid a visit to Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers (SERV) to hear about the service they provide.

This important service is provided free of charge to the NHS between the hours of 7pm and 6am, 365 days of the year via a committed team of volunteer motorcyle riders and drivers often using their own vehicles.

Katy Bourne said: ““It may come as a surprise to many that the NHS has no formal and freeway of moving urgent blood, samples and patient notes overnight.

Without the efforts of SERV, local hospitals would have to use ambulances or pay taxis to transport these urgently needed items.

“By providing a free transport service, SERV enables hospitals to focus their resources on patient care and eliminate costly transport bills.”

She added: ““SERV Sussex is keen to welcome committed volunteers to be riders, drivers, controllers, administrators and fundraisers.

“I would encourage residents to visit their website (www.servsussex.org.uk) to find out how they can support SERV’s vital work or to make a donation.”

The service is run primarily utilising the volunteer’s own vehicle, however, SERV also has a fleet of marked bikes and cars that are funded by charitable donations from the public, businesses and charitable trusts.

The charity was formed in 1981 to address a real need.

A SERV spokesperson said: “One in ten patients in hospital require blood. This is where we come in and help.

“Every member of SERV Sussex is a volunteer. They give their time for free and, unless they are using a fleet vehicle, pay for the fuel and running costs of their vehicle from their own pocket.

“Nonetheless SERV Sussex does need donations to keep fleet vehicles fuelled and maintained; replace aging vehicles; pay for the communications infrastructure needed to service incoming requests from hospitals and subsidise safety equipment for riders / drivers.”

In 2013 SERV Sussex were asked to make over 570 deliveries to hospitals as far afield as Hastings and Chichester.

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