Emergency volunteer doctors working to keep people in Devon safe are ready for the winter months after funding has allowed them to purchase specialist head torches to carry out vital, and often lifesaving, procedures.

BASICS Devon, which provides pre-hospital emergency medical care through its network of volunteer emergency doctors, has purchased the equipment after receiving £5,000 from Wales & West Utilities Safe & Warm Fund.

With a network of 14 volunteer doctors respond to medical emergencies across the county, the winter months can be challenging due to the dark nights, so the torches have arrived at just the right time.

The Safe and Warm Fund was designed to directly help those working in communities, targeting support at those who need it most.

We are delighted that the fund will now support so many organisations across our operating area, who like BASICS Devon, are helping local communities respond to Coronavirus.

Seeing communities come together to face the challenge of Coronavirus has been fantastic – and everyone at Wales & West Utilities is excited to see these projects come to life and how they will make a positive impact on the lives of people most in need.

Wales & West Utilities Chief Executive, Graham Edwards

Operating in the dark can be extremely challenging – we have to locate patients and assess the scene before treating them.. Having good lighting, which doesn’t run out of charge quickly, and which works well in the cold and the rain, is essential.

Due to Covid-19 our usual fundraising activity is reduced and so, this support from Wales & West Utilities has been vital..

Purchasing this sort of kit keeps everyone safer and helps us do our work better. We are really appreciative of the support which has allowed us to buy these torches.

Our network of volunteers is growing, and this money will help towards the responder’s support costs. It’s also being used for education and training to help doctors keep up to date in all aspects of pre-hospital emergency medicine, whilst also helping them to train others in their local community

During this time of Covid-19, this additional local support has never been more valued or relevant. On behalf of the organisation, and those that benefit from BASICS Devon I’d like to thank Wales & West Utilities for this support.

Dr Ian Higginson, BASICS Devon Volunteer Immediate Care Doctor 

BASICS doctors are senior decision makers who carry enhanced pain relief, equipment and can undertake specialist surgical procedures at the scene, which can help lessen the chance of long-term disability.

The volunteers work by responding locally across their communities, whilst also helping to reduce the feeling of remoteness for patients and are an additional source of reassurance and expertise for the emergency services.

Wales & West Utilities set up the Safe and Warm Fund to help organisations and charities directly respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. The gas emergency and pipeline service has been working hard throughout the pandemic to make sure people are kept safe and warm in their homes and opened the fund to help others in communities across Wales and the south west of England do the same.

If you would like to make a donation to BASICS Devon or to find out more please visit www.basics-devon.org.uk