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South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS) is the first ambulance service in England to introduce solar panels on to its Rapid Response Vehicles (RRV).
The Trust started trialling solar panels in January 2012 and from September 2012 started fitting them on all new RRVs.
So far solar panels have been installed on 36 of the Trust's RRVs to supply power to the secondary battery system that powers all emergency equipment on these vehicles. SCAS is currently in the process of fitting solar panels to a double crewed ambulance to evaluate their use on these.
SCAS Green Team Co-ordinator Brian Miller said:
"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."
The use of solar panels means that the Trust's fleet of RRVs can be fully mobile at all times to provide the best in mobile healthcare services to patients suffering life threatening injury or illness across the four counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and Oxfordshire.
SCAS will be trialling solar panels on Front Line Double Crewed ambulances generating more benefits for more of patients and increased operational cost savings.
The Trust has to make savings of £30 million over 5 years, equating to around 4% of the budget every year for five years.