District Significant Achievement Award
Dudley Rotary Club is the only Club
in District 1210 to have been presented with four District
Significant Achievement Awards.
Cardiac Unit is
a rapid response vehicle equipped with all necessary resuscitation
equipment and medication to treat heart attack patients in response
to emergency calls for assistance. Every minute saved in providing
medical help increases the chances of survival of a heart attach
victim so the Club aimed to provide the local coronary care hospital
team with the means of delivering skilled rapid emergency care
directly to the victim.
The Rotary Club
introduced the first such vehicle to the town in 1971 - indeed it
was one of the very first in the whole of the British Isles - and
replaced it with a bigger and better unit on two further occasions.
The award in 1983 was for the third.
vehicle, a Vauxhall Viva estate car, was provided by the
efforts of the Rotary Club in conjunction with Dr Kubik, who was
then in charge of the Intensive Therapy Unit at Burton Road
It soon became
obvious that that particular vehicle was too small and underpowered
for the needs of the service. As a result, in 1975, the Dudley
Rotary Club again financed a vehicle, larger, this time - a Vauxhall
Victor estate car - which continued in service until 1983. Even this
vehicle, though satisfactory in most ways, had its snags. Wintry
conditions made it impossible to reach difficult places, and the
wear and tear of eight years' service made it urgent that the
vehicle be replaced.
Over the years, the
Club had become thoroughly convinced that, by our association with
this well-known local life-saving institution, the reputation of
Rotary in the eyes of the local populace has been enhanced to an
extent disproportionate to the money and effort involved. We were,
therefore, determined to continue to provide for this local need,
whatever the cost. It was agreed with Dr H H Stentiford, who had
recently taken over the Unit from Dr Kubik, that Dudley Rotary Club
would again provide a replacement vehicle.
Although this was
not clear in June, it later emerged that Dr Stentiford and his team
were keen that the new vehicle should be a 4-door Range Rover, so we
were facing a target of something approaching £15,000, whereas
we had originally spoken of £8,000-£9,000 for a Volvo
estate. Undaunted, the Fund-raising Committee decided that we would
make one all-out attack on our target by raffling a Mini-Metro car,
selling the tickets at 50 pence apiece. One or two other efforts
were already in the pipe-line: A Marks and Spencer fashion show in
September and a Treorchy Male Voice Choir concert in October gave us
a good start. However, our main effort was launched in December.
December 13th was,
in fact, our Charter Day and 1982 was the 60th anniversary of the
Club's coming into being. On December 13th, at a special evening,
the project was given its send-off: the books of tickets were
distributed through our own membership, each one being responsible
for those he passed on. During February/March, a shop in the town
centre was opened at weekends for the sale of tickets, stands were
taken outside W H Smith Do-it-All and elsewhere; in May, permission
was obtained to sell tickets at a Speedway meeting at Cradley: and
in these various ways, enough money was raised to buy the Mini-Metro
and to leave a surplus of about £10,500. The winning ticket was
drawn on July 9th at the Burton Road Fête.
Money was also
reaching us from donations. All local firms were written to through
the Chamber of Commerce, and many responded with sums of from £5-£500.
The publicity brought donations from those who, where there had been
a bereavement, preferred money to be given rather than flowers.
Altogether, the donations amounted to over £6,000 which meant
that the target had been surpassed - without using the income from
the Fashion Show and Concert which had not been specifically
earmarked for this purpose.
The Vehicle was
delivered to the Health Authority in November 1983 and remained in
service for another five years or so, being called out on average
more than once a day and undoubtedly giving life-saving assistance
to large numbers of patients in Dudley and surrounding districts.
The facility has become an essential part of the local accident and
emergency service, so several such vehicles now operate in the
district. The Rotary Club is proud to have been the pioneer.