Volunteers’ Week: British Motorsport Trust – To The Rescue
In September of last year, the Motorsport UK licenced Extractor Rescue unit was travelling to support the Trackrod Rally in Yorkshire, when the crew stopped to provide Samaritan assistance for a road traffic collision, only to get caught up in one themselves.
Unfortunately, they were hit from the rear by another vehicle, which also then hit the two vehicles involved in the initial collision, thankfully without further injury or worse. The driver accepted liability, but the rescue unit was extensively damaged and eventually written off by the insurers. The unit’s first reaction after the incident was to seek a suitable replacement vehicle, for which they set up a crowdfunding page that attracted a generous £3,522 in voluntary donations.
When added to the insurers write-off value, this still left a considerable shortfall towards the cost of the replacement ambulance vehicle they had now found, especially as this had been decommissioned and stripped down completely, to the extent even the door locks had been removed. Much of the specialist equipment was transferable to the new vehicle, other than the defibrillator (a replacement was kindly donated) and the stretcher unit, for which a completely refurbished unit was sourced at much-reduced cost.
With the additional cost of reinstating virtually the entire electrical system, fitting out the interior and finishing touches such as signage, the total costs were set to exceed £15,000. This is where Gerry Morriss from Extractor Rescue turned to the BMT (British Motorsport Trust) through its online grant application process, having previously been successful in gaining financial support to help with the cost of upgraded cutting gear.
After providing all the necessary details of the insurance and crowdfunding settlement, as well as evidence of the actual expenditure incurred, the grant aid application was considered by the Trust’s Awards Panel and, within a week of that meeting, a grant offer of £4,350 was confirmed. The Unit is now fully operational again in its new guise, bar a few final flourishes to its operating livery. “We are indebted for all donations received, large and small, from across the motorsport fraternity, without whom it would have been highly probable that we would not have been able to get the rescue unit back on the road,” commented Gerry Morriss.
“We are especially grateful for the generous grant received from the British Motorsport Trust, which has enabled us to fully complete the replacement rescue unit project.” Professor Richard Parry-Jones CBE (Trust Chairman) said,
“The British Motorsport Trust recognises the essential and potentially lifesaving role Motorsport UK registered Rescue Units perform at events. Just like the Extractor Rescue Unit, which we were pleased to support on this occasion, the majority of these units are run and crewed by volunteer groups as their commitment to this sport of ours, which is marvellous. The professional way in which the crews both train for and perform their duties when required, is an important part of the overall safety management of UK motorsport events.”
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