Europe’s top trailer maker is helping charity workers to save lives by supporting emergency medical training in remote communities across Scotland.
The Stirling Trailer Centre in Stirling, Central Scotland, has supplied Scottish charity, The Sandpiper Trust, with a new Transporta from Ifor Williams Trailers to move its “crashed car” demonstration vehicle across remote areas of Scotland for realistic medical training.
The Sandpiper Trust was founded after the death of Scottish-born 14-year-old Sandy Dickson, in an accident. His family realised the difficulties faced by the ambulance service in accessing remote and isolated areas and made it their mission to equip specially-trained doctors, nurses and paramedics, so they could be ready to intervene in an emergency – before an ambulance arrives.
The charity, which was founded almost 20 years ago, works in conjunction with BASICS (British Association of Immediate Care) Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) to equip doctors, nurses and paramedics with life-saving medical supplies, including portable defibrillators, in specially designed Sandpiper Bags.
Once trained by BASICS Scotland, the volunteers log onto the Scottish Ambulance Service system to be despatched by call handers to 999 calls when necessary and are frequently the first on the scene.
Through its fundraising efforts, The Sandpiper Trust has donated the Ifor Williams Transporta to BASICS Scotland to enable the charity to move its extrication vehicle from community to community and help simulate the conditions of an emergency during training and allow clinicians to gain greater confidence treating patients.
Lorna Duff, general manager of The Sandpiper Trust, said: “It can take a very long time to reach some areas of rural Scotland and so we have local responders, all clinically trained doctors, nurses or paramedics, who attend BASICS training before receiving Sandpiper Trust equipment.
“The training is not First Aid - it’s for 999 call outs only. The equipment we give responders now costs in the region of £3,000 per person and includes a portable defibrillator. It’s a significant cost and The Sandpiper Trust replaces any equipment that’s used on a job. We do not get any form of government or centralised funding, so we rely on fundraising.
“These volunteers really are doing an amazing job. They are all full-time clinicians already with the NHS or SAS and are responding as a volunteer. Our responders have saved many lives and improved patient outcomes by getting there quickly; it’s an invaluable service.”
There are more than 200 active responders who volunteer for the service, with another 15 currently in the process of being trained and equipped.
During training, BASICS Scotland provides an extrication vehicle to enable clinicians to practice their medical skills in a realistic setting as well as learn how to safely remove a patient before fire crews arrive.
With the aid of the new Ifor Williams Transporta on board, the extrication vehicle will now be available in a multitude of locations to support training and has already travelled to Dumfries, Aberdeen, Ullapool, Tiree, Skye and Nairn in its first month. In the New Year, it will be heading to Arran, Orkney, Shetland, Huntly, St Andrews, Western Isles, Lochgilphead, Campbeltown and Invergordon.
“The Transporta seems to give us more flexibility. It’s designed as a car trailer but it also provides a pretty good training space,” said Lorna.
“A lot of training is undertaken outside. To have a transporter with side-hinged doors provides a really flexible training space to shelter from the elements. It suited all our requirements. It can also be used for publicity purposes if we’re out and about at events.
“It’s a really versatile unit. It has been out and about already and in January will be off to Arran so it will be well-travelled. For this reason it was important we had a reliable vehicle.
“Sean was really helpful and personally delivered the trailer to us. The whole process was very smooth and worked out well. Stirling Trailer Centre were very helpful.”
Sean Cooper, general manager at Stirling Trailer Centre, said: “We are delighted to supply The Sandpiper Trust with a new Ifor Williams Transporta. It is really fulfilling to know that a product you have supplied is being used for such a great cause.
“The Transporta fits their needs perfectly, helping carry a vehicle and medical kit to rural areas all over Scotland. We are proud to continue our support of local clubs and charities.”
Andrew Reece-Jones, the Design Engineering Manager for Ifor Williams Trailers, added: “We are delighted to be supplying The Sandpiper Trust and BASICS Scotland with a sturdy and reliable vehicle to deliver life-saving medical training.
“Ifor Williams is known for its durability and resilience. The Transporta was made for rugged terrain and will be more than capable of negotiating the Scottish highlands and other remote rural areas.
“Both charities do a sterling job of ensuring swift medical help is available when needed and we wish them every success with their future work.”
Stirling Trailer Centre is celebrating its fifth year as an Ifor Williams distributor and moved to new £1million purpose-built premises 18 months ago based within Stirling Agricultural Centre.
The new site, which was more than two years in the planning, includes a large trailer park which allows the firm to stock more than 200 trailers on-site, a welcoming open plan sales reception area with parts reception and a five bay fully-kitted workshop with four poster ramps, PDI bay and tyre changing facilities.
Sean added: “The move has been a huge success showing an increase in sales of 40%. It has also generated four new jobs and is allowing the business to expand and reach our goals while showing our long term commitment to Ifor Williams Trailers.”
News » Iconic trailer firm powers charity’s life-saving medical training