As we all know the freewheelers motto has always been "Ride for Life". Well from today, thanks to the huge generosity of a leading windows company, that motto is to have a new addition. Mr John Capon, Managing Director, of Otter Windows has recently purchased a Land Rover Defender 110 and donated it to the Devon Freewheelers EVS.
It comes fully kitted, striped and strobed as an emergency response vehicle - to answer emergency calls when the bikes cannot safely venture out in the ice and snow.
Last year when air ambulances were grounded and front line ambulance crews were stretched to capacity, Devon Freewheelers were called out by the Plymouth Derriford Hosptial to assist a Heart Transplant team relay emergency medical equipment to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
The job was only possible thanks to the loan of a Land Rover Freelander at the time when 3ft snow fell and completely closed both the A30 and the A38. With communications from the Devon and Cornwall Police directly to the vehicle, they guided the 4x4 through the closures and the job was completed, saving a life and making news headlines across the county.
Daniel Lavery, Founder of the charity who completed that particular job says, "a 4x4 is an essential piece of equipment in this part of the country during the winter months, without one we simply could not respond to some of the calls from the NHS."
The Land Rover 110 (similar to the one pictured on the left) is equiped with a roof rack, beacons, raised suspension system and is a 3 seater commercial vehicle with masses of room for equipment in the back.
The vehicle is originally from the Environment Agency, has been fully serviced and MOT'd, and is a welcome addition to the fleet, to be based in Honiton, the home of Otter Windows Limited. John Capon, Managing Director of Otter Windows says, "It's a pleasure Otter Windows are able to help this amazing charity".
As part of our commitment to serve the local community Otter Windows chose these amazing volunteers as the beneficiary of this emergency response vehicle because their work really does save lives.
We are surrounded by community hospitals in this area, and without the Devon Freewheelers responding to their calls for help lives could be at risk.
Devon seen some of the worst snow in decades last year and it didn't stop these guys getting out of their beds and heading out into the worst weather conditions possible to save a life." The natural act to follow such extreme snow was of course the big thaw which left parts of a local town, Ottery St. Mary, completely flooded. Local residents had to be evacuated, houses destroyed, businesses and roads closed and yet the local community hospital had to continue to function. This donation will ensure the service to the hospital is kept on track even if it does have to be done 'off road'.
Daniel Lavery, Founder of the charity says "We've got a new badge to put up now, 'Drive for Life'! It is an amazing gift from Otter Windows. This company helps lots of charities in the area, The Baton Charity, The Honiton Twirlstars, Honiton Youth Football Club, to name but a few.
It must be very satisfying for the customers of Otter Windows to know their investment in their windows, doors and conservatories not only benefits them but also everyone around them. How much stronger a message of community support can one man send out; John Capon deserves a medal for this one, he should be on the Queens Honour List! We would like other businesses to embrace the generosity Otter Windows has shown, and get on board with this if they can.
It's going to need to be kept in tip top condition, so if there is anyone out there who would be prepared to service the vehicle, supply the tyres, fuel it or even insure it, it all goes to helping us do our job longer. Like many charities we are hand to mouth nearly every month and there are lots of businesses out there who could help, please get in touch with us.
There is to be a full press launch once the vehicle has been delivered - due this week, from Chepstow in Wales. Watch this space....