Prison officer by day ... lifesaver by night
As winter approaches, volunteer drivers are being called on to come forward to help save people’s lives.
Nigel Martin, 45, from Three Bridges, is a blood runner – one of eight in Crawley – with the charity SERV (Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers) and transports urgent blood supplies to hospitals through the night.
Nigel has been a blood runner for six months and one awful night was called on to transport a consignment from Tooting.
Riders are dispatched not knowing who the product is for and he learned later that they were for a friend’s mother who was suffering from a major infection.
There are approximately 100 blood runners in Sussex and Nigel, a full-time prison officer working in Lewes, gives up several nights a week as a duty controller as well as a driver.
His wife Michelle, 44, said she was very proud of him.
She added: “It’s a service that people are so unaware of. People just assume that the hospitals have huge stores of blood supplies but they don’t realise what happens behind the scenes.
“If you were in hospital and you were told you need blood but it’s a hundred miles away you’d be scared, but these guys can transport it very quickly.
“It’s quickly gone from something he wanted to do to something he will be doing for a very long time to come.”
With winter drawing in there is a growing necessity for drivers to volunteer and for people to help fund raise for more vehicles.
Nigel explained: “There are many bikers involved because the job is suited to them with their ability to pass through traffic. But unlike cars, bikes are restricted to one consignment at a time.
“We are screaming out for volunteers especially as the weather turns below freezing and bikes will be taken off the road for safety reasons.”
For further information about SERV visit www.servsussex.org.uk.
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Weather for Crawley
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: South west