Meet the solar powered ambulance service

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The sun is shining on a new energy saving scheme from South Central Ambulance Service.

The service has introduced solar panels on all its new Rapid Response Vehicles to help save money.

The panels provide power to the secondary battery system that supplies all emergency equipment on the RRVs.

Green Team Co-ordinator at SCAS, Brian Miller, outlined the money saving opportunities the solar panels have presented.

“South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is taking the initiative to introduce solar panels to its Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) to reduce fuel consumption, fuel and battery replacement costs, the Trust’s carbon footprint and the need for RRVs to return to base and traditional shoreline systems to recharge vehicle batteries,” he said.

The introduction of the solar panels to the fleet have freed up the cars to respond to more calls than they were able to before.

The panels were trialled in January 2012 before the SCAS fitted them to all new RRVs in September 2012. Since then 36 RRVs have been installed on the cars.

The Trust is required to make savings of £30 million over five years, something the introduction of 200 solar panels will help with.

Following the success of solar panels on the RRVs, SCAS are now looking at installing the panels on doubled crewed ambulance vehicles to asses their effectiveness on the larger vehicles.