Mary Ann returns home…

And makes some new friends in the process!

Mary Ann, one of our emergency services specification FJR 1300’s returned home recently… to the wonderful people who donated her. The generous members of the ‘Friends of Fleet Community Hospital’ stunned us last year with the most unexpected gift of the very pretty ‘Mary Ann’. And whilst we were in the area on another delivery, we welcomed the chance to swing by Fleet Community Hospital and introduce some of the wonderful staff there to our stalwart of the fleet. Apart from making new friends and sizing up some new riders (you know who you are ladies!), it gave us a chance to explain what we do and how ‘Mary Ann’ benefits the community that donated her.

‘Mary Ann’ is in constant use and spends a lot of time moving urgent clinical products and supplies between the National Blood Bank at Tooting, Frimley Park Hospital and it’s satellite sites, of which Fleet Community Hospital is one. In fact, not two nights earlier, ‘Mary Ann’ had been involved in just such a task and one that highlighted why the FJR 1300’s like ‘Mary Ann’ are critical to the work we do. On the night in question, an urgent request had come in from Frimley Park Hospital to transfer product to one of it’s satellites. ‘Mary Ann’ was chosen for the task, in no small part because of the varied route that was required. In heavy rain and gusting wind, ‘Mary Ann’ was able to make good progress, inspiring confidence in the Advanced Qualified rider that was piloting her that night. After the collection of the product, the route required navigating some very slippery back roads and gravel strewn single track lanes… all of which ‘Mary Ann’ handled perfectly, through a mixture of smooth power delivery, traction control, ABS and the spectacular LED headlights that turn night into day (particularly handy when you turn the corner to find the route blocked by half a tree)! We don’t operate bikes like ‘Mary Ann’ because of how fast they go… it’s because of how well engineered they are and the equipment level they are specified to. The unknown patient and the medical staff that were treating them that night didn’t care how fast the rider could go. Or what the top speed of the bike was. They wanted to know that the product would be guaranteed to arrive on time, as required… and this is what ‘Mary Ann’ enabled us to do.

And so who were the hero’s that night? The rider who braved the atrocious conditions? The technicians who identified what product was required and made sure it was ready to go on the rider’s arrival? The medical staff treating the patient? The members of the public who helped our rider by not impeding his progress? All good candidates. But for us at SERV Surrey and South London, the real heroes were those who started it all. The Friends of Fleet Community Hospital who through their tireless fundraising efforts were able to provide us with the tools to do the job. And it highlights exactly what SERV SSL and our supporters are all about… it’s about ordinary people giving back to the NHS and achieving extraordinary things. Because that cake someone bought at a Coffee Morning fund raising event, along with all the other individual donations, meant that on that on that particular night, the resources were available to transfer a life saving product to a patient in desperate need. Thank you Friends of Fleet Community Hospital.

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