Dacia Dusters join ambulance service fleet
29 July 2020
Author: Sean Keywood
A fleet of 40 Dacia Duster SUVs has been delivered to the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
The vehicles are to be used as dynamic response vehicles, operated by volunteer Community First Responders.
The order includes 13 Dusters with four-wheel drive that will be used in remote and hard-to-reach areas.
The Dusters, which have been converted with additional lighting and storage, will operate across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire.
They are funded by the South Central Ambulance Charity, which supports services not backed by government NHS funding.
The new order is said to follow a previous three-year stint for a Duster with Windsor Community First Responders.
The new Dusters replace several ageing vehicles, which the charity says were becoming too unreliable to fulfil their duties.
South Central Ambulance Charity chief executive Vanessa Casey 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."