Broadwindsor First Responders are no more. The decision to close the group follows the retirement of their last Responder. Broadwindsor First Responders proudly came into force in the spring of 2003 with nearly 40 volunteers at that time. All trained by Phil Lathey of Dorset Ambulance. The idea had been started by the then landlord of The White Lion, John Beighton. The late Pat Clarke volunteered to take on the monumental task, accepted the collection bottle and started some serious fundraising.
By 2012, volunteer numbers had dwindled and the group were threatened with being forced to disband but an appeal through the Bridport News brought them some much needed publicity. The people of the village certainly appreciated and supported it. Former Chairman and co-founder Terry Clarke had said “The problem we found was that people were desperate for it to continue but no-one seems to want to volunteer to keep it going. Certainly I felt that the times we were called we did give the people a lot of help and support and they were very pleased to see us because inevitably we were the first to see them because they were desperately ill or had befallen some accident.”
In a Farewell notice in the Broadwindsor News,Jacqui Sewell, Margaret Jenkins, Terry Clarke & Val Johnson thanked Rowland Hibbard from Kittwhistle Garage who maintained their vehicles. They thanked all the previous & present First Responders who gave their time to provide a hands on emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for over 15 years.
The Responders assisted in the installation of defibrillators located at:
Comrades Hall, Broadwindsor
Monies from the trade in value of their last vehicle was donated to Dorset Air Ambulance.
Parish Councillor Jacqui Sewell commented ” It does make me feel sad. It was a privilege to serve the village as a First Responder and I am very grateful to South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust for the training.”
“Thank you for all your support over the years. Stay safe and keep well”