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999 responders to change hair and beards for pagers
THEY’RE used to handling ‘hairy’ situations at South Central Ambulance Service.
But things are set to become a lot hairier in the coming months as about 20 staff grow their barnets and whiskers for a good cause.
The men and one woman are seeking sponsors for a variety of ‘follicle challenges’.
They are Thame-based community responders, staff who often reach emergencies first before ambulances to deliver often life-saving care.
Liaison and training officer Amanda Cundy, 51, said: “We’re doing this to raise money for a new communication system for the region’s 1,600 community responders. At the moment, community responders rely on their mobile phones for communication, but the signal can vary from place to place.
“The trust is going to pay for all our volunteers to use a pager system similar to the one used by our ambulance, police and military services, but like a mobile phone contract these radio units have a monthly subscription charge and that is where the hair growing comes in.”
Mum-of-three Ms Cundy is facing a grade one electric head shave and said: “A professional hairdresser will be overseeing it all and I am hoping I end up looking like Jessie J – rather than a billiard ball.”
Among those taking part is community responder liaison and training officer David Hamer, 35, from Didcot. He said: “I don’t do shaving, but I have volunteered to have my chest waxed, which I gather will be very painful.
“But at least I can give myself some pain relief afterwards.”
Responder department manager Dick Tracey: “I usually have my hair short but my wife Heather really likes it longer and also my moustache, so she has offered to give £250 to the fund if I keep it.
He added: “I’m very pleased that so many full time staff and also volunteers are signing up to raise funds for the new system as it will enable us to communicate with our volunteers more effectively and ultimately enable our volunteers to get to emergencies quicker.”
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