Ambulance responders get clipper action for emergency pagers

The Oxford Times: Responder department manager Dick Tracey before his charity head, beard and moustache shave. Pictures: OX63860 Denis Kennedy Buy this photo » Responder department manager Dick Tracey before his charity head, beard and moustache shave. Pictures: OX63860 Denis Kennedy

ONE woman has been ‘scalped’ and four men set upon with razor blades — all for the sake of the latest hi-tech pagers.

The only lasting damage done to the Thame-based South Central Ambulance Community Responder staff was a touch of razor rash.

The responders, who often reach emergencies first before ambulances to deliver life-saving care, have been growing their hair, moustaches and beards for over a month to raise funds for a new communication system for their 1,600-strong regional team.

At the moment, community responders rely on their mobile phones for communication, but the signal can vary from place to place.

The South Central Ambulance Trust has agreed to fund a pager system similar to the one used by the county’s ambulance, police and military services.

But like a mobile phone contract these radio units have a monthly subscription charge.

And that is where the head shave fundraising will help.

Liaison and training officer Amanda Cundy, 51, said: “We’ve all been looking so scruffy and hairy for the last month, but I was particularly nervous about the big shave on Monday because I had agreed to have my head shaved.

“What’s more, I had ‘auctioned off’ the chance to actually shave my head to the responders, and so one of our Military Responders, Pete Elsmore from RAF Benson, was let loose on my locks after pledging £60.”

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The Oxford Times:

  • Amanda Cundy starts to lose her hair

Watched over by a professional hairdresser, Stephanie Nokes, who had first cut Ms Cundy’s hair with scissors, Mr Elsmore got cracking and produced a perfect grade one ‘buzz’ cut.

The Oxford Times:

  • Amanda's hair continues to go

Ms Cundy said: “I am very surprised at how much I like it actually. It’s kind of like the singer Sinead O’Connor’s hair but I have bought myself a nice, new bobble hat in case my head gets cold.”

The Oxford Times:

  • Amanda's hair has all gone

Also in on the clipper action was community liaison training officer, Del Flint, 44.

Mr Flint said: “I have been shaved below the lip and above the brows and we have had a lot of laughs raising great money so far.”

While Dick Tracey, responder department manager, lost not only his hair, but also his beard and the impressive handlebar moustache, he has been cultivating for months.

The Oxford Times:

  • Dick Tracey's locks and beard start to drift away

Speaking on Tuesday, he said: “I look like a billiard ball and my wife hates it.

The Oxford Times:

  • Still all smiles as he loses more head cover

“My grand kids say that I look weird and even the dog has gone off me. I’ll have to start growing it back.”

The Oxford Times:

  • Mr Tracey's all clean shaven

Ms Cundy added: “So far our efforts have raised an impressive £1,226 towards the running costs of the new radio equipment and we hope to get many more donations on our web page in the run up to Christmas.”

Comments (2)

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10:19am Sun 8 Dec 13

puddlicotepete says...

The ambulance service are really taking the mickey here, they rely on the community responders giving up their free time for no pay to prop up scas failing response times and then to top it all the responders are expected to fundraise to buy the equipment they need.
The ambulance service are really taking the mickey here, they rely on the community responders giving up their free time for no pay to prop up scas failing response times and then to top it all the responders are expected to fundraise to buy the equipment they need. puddlicotepete

9:53am Mon 9 Dec 13

Gunslinger says...

Pretty sad story this. The ambulance service ought to be providing their volunteers with equipment needed to do the job.
Pretty sad story this. The ambulance service ought to be providing their volunteers with equipment needed to do the job. Gunslinger

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