Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) celebrates its 42nd birthday

Dr Alan Jones, a SARS responder from the 1970s
Dr Alan Jones, a SARS responder from the 1970s
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The Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) is celebrating its 42nd birthday today.

The emergency medical charity was launched on May 1, 1972, and, since then, its volunteer doctors and paramedics have attended nearly 16,000 medical emergencies around Suffolk and neighbouring counties.

It was set up to help the statutory emergency services treat those patients who have serious or life-threatening conditions and require immediate medical attention before transfer to hospital.

Dr Andrew Mason, vice-chairman of SARS, and the charity’s longest-serving volunteer, said: “SARS has seen a lot of changes since it was set up back in the 1970s, and the standard of pre-hospital care in our region has improved immensely since then.

“Although we now have a smaller number of volunteers, the level of patient care provided is much higher. Our volunteers are highly-trained specialists who can sedate patients, administer powerful pain-killing drugs and undertake advanced life-saving procedures before patients reach hospital.

“This year, we are hoping to raise enough money to fund a new emergency team-response vehicle kitted out with a wide range of specialist life-saving equipment, much of which was unavailable 42 years’ ago.”

SARS volunteers will soon be featuring in ‘BritCam’, a series currently being broadcast on PICK TV (Freeview Channel 11 and Sky Channel 152) on Sundays at 9pm.

They will feature in episodes on May 4 and 11, with coverage of SARS doctors and paramedics attending an equestrian incident in Mendlesham and a serious road traffic collision in Beck Row.