Gloucestershire & Worcestershire 4×4 Response’s (GW4x4R) new Advanced Response Management (ARM) system has been used in earnest in recent days as its volunteer controllers and response drivers responded to 49 requests and 38 taskings throughout a snow-hit Gloucestershire.

ARM was recently introduced to replace an ageing response system, with all volunteer controllers and drivers having been thoroughly trained on the use of the system during live training sessions in recent months. Its introduction shows a continued investment into the organisation and the welfare of its drivers and clients.

The organisation’s first request for assistance during this recent period came at 09:00 on Thursday, 31st January, with a care home seeking an outbound trip for one of its nurses to a private patient later that evening, followed by a return trip the following morning (Friday, 1st February).

But, as Met Office Yellow warnings turned to Amber for parts of the region, the team was officially placed on standby and the requests from our clients soon multiplied. And for some volunteers, it was their first taste of a call-out since joining GW4x4R following last autumn’s recruitment drive.

The final tasking of the weekend was completed at 17:00 on Saturday afternoon and followed a 45-mile drive to assist a nurse on a call-out. This was soon followed by an official ‘Stand Down’ response from our Health & Safety Officer.

Our Clients were as gracious and grateful as ever, with one comment coming from Longfield’s Hospice at Home Manager Liz Kennett, who says: “Just to say a huge thank you to you and your team for the support you gave us on Friday and Saturday. It enabled us to provide care to some really ill patients. For our team it is so reassuring to know that you are there to help us.”.

Other comments included: “Just want to thank you all very much for your help these past couple of days supporting us with 4x4s and drivers. We have really appreciated it and our staff want to thank you too.”.

Commenting for GW4x4R, chairman Philip Dews says: “Both controllers and drivers responded with absolute professionalism throughout the operational period. Our volunteers took time out from their jobs and family life to respond and I would personally like to thank each and every one involved.”