Rescue operations boost thanks to donation of new Ford Ranger

A new Ford Ranger rescue vehicle will help the team Avon & Somerset Search and Rescue (ASSAR) across the Mendip Hills.

Barratt Homes Bristol has donated £1,500 to ASSAR to help them secure a new Ford Ranger rescue vehicle which will be stationed at Cheddar Gorge to improve response times in emergencies and ability to access challenging terrains around the Mendip Hills.

ASSAR has been working across Avon, Somerset and surrounding areas for nearly 50 years and is operated (24/7) entirely by its 80 volunteers (including 60 on call emergency responders), relying on charitable donations to cover its costs.

The £1,500 donation from Barratt Homes Bristol will contribute to a new rescue vehicle for the service, to replace the teams old Land Rover, which, despite its years of service, has become increasingly costly to maintain.

The team’s new Ford Ranger rescue vehicle, which will be stationed at the bottom of Cheddar Gorge, will bolster the team's response times and operational capabilities, particularly in accessing challenging terrains around the Mendip hills.

Andrea Pilgrim, sales director for Barratt Homes Bristol said: "We’re incredibly proud to be able to support Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue in their essential life-saving efforts. As a local homebuilder, we view it as our duty to support their mission. This contribution symbolises our gratitude for their invaluable service."

Jim Hardcastle, team leader of ASSAR, said: "We would like to thank Barratt Homes Bristol for their generous donation. This funding will enhance our capacity to promptly respond to emergencies by giving us funding that will go directly towards a new rescue vehicle."

ASSAR's vital services encompass a wide range of emergency responses, including cliff and steep ground rescue, recovery and access, rescue from heights, land search and rescue, and Swiftwater rescue and water margin search. Notably, around 25% of the individuals rescued by the team suffer from dementia, reflecting the evolving nature of their work, in a time when the UK has an aging population.