Dacia has supplied 40 new Dusters to the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, to be used as dynamic response vehicles by volunteer first responders.
Funded by South Central Ambulance Charity (SCAC), which supports SCAS by providing services, projects and equipment that are not supplied by Government NHS funding, the new Dusters will provide a rapid response to many 999 calls where an ambulance is requested.
The new Dusters replace several ageing vehicles, which are now requiring significant attention to deliver a level of reliability that the role of a dynamic response vehicle demands.
Vanessa Casey, chief executive of the South Central Ambulance Charity, said: “It was fast becoming apparent that a number of the vehicles used by our volunteers were no longer reliable or cost effective to run and there was no replacement scheme in place, so the ideal solution was for us to invest in a brand new fleet.
“We’re a charity though, so it’s essential we stretch our funds as far as possible. With the Dacia Duster we already knew it was perfect for the job in terms of reliability and space, plus it delivered the all-important value for money both in terms of initial purchase and running costs.
“With the added support given to us by Dacia UK we were able to secure a fleet that was both affordable and reliable. It’s there to do a function above all else, but feedback from our volunteers has been excellent in terms of the drive and feel. Some were a bit sceptical at first, but they’ve certainly been won over by what the Duster offers.”
The order consisted of 27 4x2 Comfort versions and 13 4x4 Prestige variants, the latter being deployed in more remote and rural areas where the all-wheel drive allows crews to reach patients in hard to reach areas. All are powered by a 1.5-litre TCe petrol engine.
The fully-liveried Dusters have been kitted out to the Trust’s exact specifications. The bespoke conversion includes additional lighting and storage solutions for such essentials as a defibrillator, oxygen, masks, bandages, Entonox and other medical supplies.
Luke Broad, head of brand at Dacia UK, added: “It’s fantastic to see the Dacia Duster take on such an important role and see how confident the Trust and its volunteers are in its ability. The order is the perfect illustration of how effective Dacia is in offering high quality, robust vehicles for little cash outlay and we’re delighted that the Duster is the perfect fit for the challenging requirements of both the Trust and its charity.”