The shortage of emergency response vehicles is a serious problem being faced in the Western Cape (and in fact, the rest of the country).  This lack of vehicles often leads to emergency services taking up to 40 minutes to arrive at disaster scenes, especially in more remote areas. It goes without saying that the vital lost time can literally mean the difference between life and death. 
Due to budget constraints, the situation doesn’t show any signs of improving - either from a provincial or municipal perspective. However, a fund-raising project recently initiated by the Rotary Club Newlands aims to supply an additional, much-needed vehicle to be operated by the Disaster Volunteer Group, EVS.  The fully-kitted, multi-purpose vehicle will provide services to residents in the Deep South, from Claremont to Cape Point, including Masiphumelele, Ocean View and Redhill.
Isuzu Trucks SA has generously sponsored a utility vehicle (4tonner crew cab, which is the same size as a fire engine) that is being converted by Uni Power Bodies and Trailers in Durban and equipped to deal with rescues, fires, mass medical and care situations as well as providing event support. While the project has been kick-started by a generous contribution of R400, 000.00 from an anonymous donor and R200, 000.00 from the LeMarque Chown Energy Trust, the full cost of the vehicle and conversion is R1.5 million, leaving a balance of R900, 000.00 still to be raised.  The Rotary Club of Newlands is seeking support from individual and corporate donors in order to reach its goal and have the vehicle operational as soon as possible.
According to Colin Burke, President-elect of the Rotary Club of Newlands, the Club has already provided an ambulance for the Deep South, but there is still a dire need for more vehicles. “The previous vehicle we supplied is managed by Cape Medical Response and is instrumental in the saving of many lives, every week” said Burke. “Volunteers are passionate, committed and highly trained, but without adequate resources, there is only so much that can be done. We appeal to possible donors to invest in the safety of the various communities and assist us in putting another emergency services vehicle on the road before the festive season hits.”
For more information about contributing to this vital Rotary initiative, contact Colin Burke on 021 789 1312 | 082 690 6099 or mail