A vital community service may have to be cut back due to ageing ambulances, says a local charity.
East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance has had one of its busiest years ever, and this has had an effect on its ambulances which are aging much quicker than expected. The charity’s vital night time emergency service, which is already under a lot of pressure, may have to be reduced as a result.
“Unfortunately one of our vehicles has now come to the end of its service. Losing one of our ambulances will dramatically reduce our ability to respond to demands on the vital service we offer. This particular vehicle is used a lot for night time emergencies and rapid response” said Chris Riddington one of WRAS’s On-call Rescue Co-ordinators.
East Sussex WRAS is launching an appeal to raise funds for a new ambulance to enable the charity to continue to deal with the 2-3000 calls for help it receives each year.
The new ambulance will, not only enable WRAS to continue its life saving service, but also save valuable funds by being more economical, fuel efficient and reduce the maintenance costs.
“I called out WRAS a few weeks ago, as one of my friend’s cats caught a wood pigeon. At first I had no idea what to do or where to turn. I was worried and the poor bird was in shock. The more I thought about how scared the bird was the more anxious I became. I took a few deep breaths and decided to call my local vet who gave me the rescue line for WRAS. I had not heard of WRAS before, but as soon as I called them they were really helpful and were able to reassure me. They advised me to cover the poor bird with a towel and keep him calm and that they would be with me as soon as possible. I was so relieved to see their ambulance pull up outside about 5 minutes later as they were already in the area. Their rescuer gently picked up the bird cradled it in his hands and calmly assessed the poor bird. He reassured us, that they would do the best they could to relieve the birds suffering.
I hate to think what would have happened if WRAS did not exist. There is no way I would have been able to get it to a vet or to a rescue centre myself as I do not have any transport. Some might say ‘it’s only a pigeon’ but, they are wildlife and WRAS don’t discriminate. All wildlife suffers when in pain, and unlike their domestic cousins they don’t have anyone to look after them, but they do have WRAS. WRAS are so over worked they need all the support they can get, so I will be supporting their Ambulance Appeal and I urge you to do the same” explained Hannah Stainton from Eastbourne.
The pigeon went on to make a full recovery after spending time in care and has now been released back into the wild.
Recently a young swan became separated from it family on the busy A27 near Drusillas after they tried to cross the road. Luckily the swan was spotted by Emma. She had heard of WRAS and called the rescue line.
"I was so worried about the swan and I feared that it would get run over. It’s dangerous enough for a human to cross that road and even more so for wildlife. There is no way I could have tackled it or tried to catch it. I was so relieved when WRAS's ambulance arrived so quickly. I hate to think what would have happened to the swan otherwise" explained Emma Feirn from Eastbourne.
Luckily WRAS had an ambulance in the area which was dispatched to the scene immediately. Due to having an ambulance free we were able to transport the dazed swan to the centre, where he was given first aid and time to rest. She recovered well and was able to be released two days later.
“I called on WRAS's service recently after finding a Buzzard at the side of the road. I was so pleased and grateful that they were there to help, as late at night most places are closed. They did a great job and it brought me to tears when I saw the video of the Buzzard being released back to the wild. I really hope WRAS don't have to stop their night time work as so many casualties would suffer as a result. Night time vets are too far away and too busy to help and the RSPCA have such limited resources too. I would beg people to please support WRAS's Ambulance Appeal” said Emma Kirsty Whiteman from Heathfield.
“Many people don’t have transport or can’t drive and some people have phobias, and WRAS regularly comes to their aid. Members of the public can’t be expected to picked up and handle Badgers, Foxes, Swans and other hazardous wildlife, so these creatures rely on WRAS to be there for them. So please help us keep our ambulances on the road. We are not just another animal charity we benefit the community, human and animals. We are already struggling to cover night time calls, and if we lose this ambulance we will have no choice but to cut back our night time service, which we really don’t want to do” expressed Trevor.
Donations can be made by calling 01825873003 during office hours, or online at http://wildlifeambulance.org/donate/ambulance-appeal/ , or by post making cheques payable to “East Sussex WRAS” to :
Ambulance Appeal, East Sussex WRAS, PO Box 2148, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 9DE.
PICTURE: WRAS Founder Trevor Weeks with a broken down Ambulance.
Video without text and logos can be downloaded Here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dibqli5nqmdelkn/Ambulance%20Appeal%20Videos%20without%20logo%20sound%20text.wmv?dl=0