Lookers Audi Newcastle has ensured help will reach those suffering heart complaints in record time thanks to the donation of an SQ5 SUV to North East health charity Cardioproof.
The AM100 retail group has partnered with the charity to assist it in a bid to improve cardiac arrest response times and save between 40 to 50 additional lives each year.
As well as being striped up as a North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) vehicle and sporting the Newcastle Audi and Cardioproof sponsorship logos, the new Audi SQ5 response vehicle has been fitted by the NEAS with the very latest life-saving equipment.
The vehicle will be used to reach patients in a region spanning the Scottish borders right down to the Yorkshire border and its donation came as the result of a friendship between Lookers chief operating officer, Nigel McMinn, and his neighbour and Cardioproof founder, Professor Michael Norton.
McMinn’s son, Joseph, suggested the SQ5 be used due to its ideal specifications for the task at hand, including a spacious interior and its ability to cover large distances through its speed and raw power, with a brake horsepower of 354PS and a 0-62mph time of 5.4 seconds among its impressive performance figures.
McMinn said: “I’ve known Michael for a number of years and have always admired his dedication to helping save the lives of those unfortunate enough to have a cardiac arrest.
“It’s a very sudden and traumatic event that can happen to absolutely anyone, whether you’re fit and healthy or not, which makes providing this vehicle all the more important.
“It was also great to see my son Joseph get involved. At 11-years-old, he’s already a bit of a car nut and his suggestion of a SQ5 was one that stuck and I’m sure that it will prove to be the perfect vehicle for this kind of vital work.”
As well as introducing the rapid response vehicle, Cardioproof has begun rolling out automated external defibrillators (AED), with the equipment recently fitted in Front Street, Tynemouth, and outside Café 95 on Gosforth High Street.
It’s all part of the organisation’s wider aim of increasing cardiac arrest survival rates from 4% to 16% in the North East.
Prof Norton said: “We are so grateful to Newcastle Audi for partnering with Cardioproof to provide this vehicle. This car will save lives. It is the most important emergency service vehicle in our region – it responds to more immediately life threatening emergencies than any other vehicle.
“We believe it will make a huge difference to the Cardiac Arrest Response Unit and help get the right people and equipment to the right place at the right time.
“very second counts in cardiac arrest and a car that can safely make up ground on ‘blue light’ runs can make the difference between life and death.”
Lookers has provided a number of vehicles to worthy causes over recent years, including a Vauxhall Mokka to England Deaf Rugby Union (EDRU) and cancer support charity Help Harry Help Others.