A brand new emergency service vehicle has been launched in the wider Basingstoke area.

Forty Dacia Dusters have been branded up in distinctive livery to be used in operations for South Central Ambulance Service. 

They'll be driven by Volunteer Community First Responders who are trained to respond to emergency calls from concern for welfare checks to cardiac arrests. 

Alan Trott, Basingstoke Gazette Camera Club member, said: "You may see a new type of Emergency Service vehicle around Basingstoke.

"The 4x4 car pictured (below) will be used by three local groups in Basingstoke, Tadley and Bramley to respond to emergency calls from Concern for Welfare to Cardiac Arrests. More information on the CFR scheme can be found on the SCAS website."

Basingstoke Gazette: The new emergency service vehicle based in Basingstoke (Alan Trott)The new emergency service vehicle based in Basingstoke (Alan Trott)

The South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) paid for the Dusters itself rather than Government NHS funding.

tThe Dusters will be operated by specially-trained volunteers who provide a rapid response to many 999 calls where an ambulance is requested.

SCAS' chief executive said the particular model of car was chosen for being value for money and for being "reliable". 

The new Dusters replace several ageing vehicles, which are now requiring significant attention to deliver a level of reliability that the role of a DRV demands.

The order consisted of 27 4×2 Comfort versions and 13 4×4 Prestige variants with all powered by a turbocharged 1.5-litre TCe petrol engine and a six-speed gearbox.

The fully-liveried Dusters have been kitted out to the Trust’s specifications. The bespoke conversion includes additional lighting and storage solutions for medical equipment and supplies.

Basingstoke Gazette: (Alan Trott)(Alan Trott)

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.

“With the added support given to us by Dacia UK we were able to secure a fleet that was both affordable and reliable.”