Borders Search and Rescue Unit took delivery of its new off-road ambulance this week, following years of fundraising.
The unit – staffed completely of volunteers who are on call at all times to provide an essential emergency service, not just to hillwalkers, but to the whole community, through a wide range on incidents such as festivals and common ridings – is based in Kelso.
The new Mercedes Sprinter EU6 316 CDI has been custom-fitted out to team specifications and has plenty of room for kit, stretcher, casualties and team members inside.
Team members have played an important role in the design of the interior of the ambulance, making regular visits to vehicle conversion specialists Cebotec in Falkirk, where it was being converted from the basic model.
A spokeswoman for the group told us: “This new vehicle replaces our aging S reg Ford Transit minibus and will enhance our capabilities to respond to call-outs throughout the team’s area of responsibility, throughout East Lothian and the eastern Borders.
“As well as donations from a huge number of people, we’d like to thank Mercedes for giving us a generous Mountain Rescue discount; the Joicey Trust, who donated £3,000 to the vehicle fund, and to Kelso and Duns Co-op stores, which recently supported us as their local charities with money raised going directly into the fund.
“We’ll all be doing some familiarisation training over the coming weeks and will be taking the Sprinter along to upcoming events.
“We’ll be providing first aid cover for the Eildon Hill Race on Saturday and for Duns, Jedburgh, Kelso and Coldstream rideouts over the summer, as well as attending Haddington Show at the end of the month.”