Northants 4×4 Response is delighted to have received a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund to purchase additional equipment to further help it support its work in the county.
The charity, which works alongside the emergency and essential services to provide specialist logistic support and water rescue capabilities, has used the money to upgrade its communication systems and purchase a specially equipped trailer.
The team’s upgraded radios allow for secure communication across the county and beyond, and include GPS tracking technology so that the duty controllers can see where resources are, and check on responders’ welfare while deployed.
This is vital as the team’s volunteers are typically deployed in severe weather to enable nurses and carers to get to their patients in the community, to get key medical and support staff to and from the county’s hospitals, and also to ensure that emergency control room staff are able to get to work so that there is someone there to answer a 999 call for help.
Inside the trailer there is all the equipment that might be required to support a major incident, including shelter, lighting, communications, power supplies, tables, chairs and other incidental items needed to help the team on scene respond effectively.
The need for the additional equipment was identified following Christmas 2020 when the team aided the evacuation of Billing Aquadrome; however, the delivery of the trailer and equipment was delayed by Covid-related production issues.
In addition to its response work, during the summer months the team supports larger community events around the county, putting its logistic, communication and team working skills to use at events such as Race for Life, carnivals and sporting events.
The trailer displays the call-sign NH135, which belonged to former volunteer Jason Coombs who passed away in 2019, and with the kind permission of Claire and Abi Coombs the trailer is dedicated to his memory.
Jason was a long-standing member of the team, and through the trailer the spirit of his support continues.
Northants 4×4 Response is a registered charity, and part of the 4×4 Response UK network whose teams cover most of the UK and Isle of Man with a total strength of around 1800 volunteers.
Established in 2008, the Northants team has over 70 members, who donate their time and the use of their own four-wheel drive vehicles to support their local communities in times of need.
Since Christmas 2020, when the team was involved in the evacuation of Billing Aquadrome, it has trained some of its volunteers in water rescue skills to expand the resources available to its service users.