In an innovative move, Berwick Bandits chairman John Anderson has arranged to purchase the ‘spare’ ambulance used to cover meetings at Shielfield Park, ensuring the continuing presence of two fully-fitted ambulances at all speedway events.
“I learned that Rapid Reaction, the superb organisation from Morpeth who provide medical cover at so many events throughout the North-East, were facing an impossible problem,” said Anderson. “It had been decreed that, if they were to continue hiring out their ambulance for various events, there was be a need for them to find an impossible insurance premium of something like £10,000 to be paid, annually”.
“However, if the ambulance was privately-owned and only used for in-house cover at our meetings, the insurance situation wouldn’t kick in. Investigations quickly revealed Rapid Reaction were going to have to dispose of the vehicle - so, I’m buying it!”
H explained the purchase was being made by him personally. By buying the ambulance, and loaning it (free, of course) to the club on speedway nights, this saves the Bandits something like £3,000 a year in rentals and ensures that, if an injury should occur there will still always be a second ambulance on hand, hopefully lessening the kind of delays which have occurred in the past.
Needless to say, the gesture has been warmly welcomed by everyone connected with the Bandits.
As an ex-rider, team manager Scott Courtney has enthusiastically endorsed the need for ambulance cover, and co-promoter Dennis McCleary wholeheartedly agreed, although he warned the next step forward require a guaranteed engagement of either two paramedics (or one medic and a doctor) at each meeting.