Hi, my name is Dave Hawkins.
I set up MET Medical, a small ambulance service that I run in St Albans, with the help of my wife and a load of amazing people who are true heroes. I set up our ambulance service whilst studying to be a Paramedic at the University of Herts.
Firstly, we are a family business. Up until yesterday, we were running our 999 services from an industrial unit on the London Road Business Park. We supply 4-5 ambulances each day, 365 days a year, covering St Albans and the surrounding areas to support the NHS. We respond to 999 calls on behalf of the NHS to help ease the pressures the service faces. Not many people realise that we exist as they assume all ambulances are operated directly by the NHS. We are rated Good by the CQC who regulate us and NHS services.
Today I went back in to see the devastation caused by the fire that destroyed at least 4 or 5 businesses. We have been in the building for most of the 8 years we have been running for and there are lots of memories associated with that. Sadly, everything is damaged by fire, smoke and water. The roof is burnt and the building is uninhabitable. Our basement office until this afternoon was waist deep in water. The fire service pumped it to help recover some essential documents.
Some might think insurance will cover things like these. Insurance replaces the bandages and oxygen masks but doesn't begin to help with the long and challenging task of building a new home in or around St Albans, which meets the standards and regulations required to operate.
Our staff have been going well beyond the call of duty. One of our fleet staff removed over 30 oxygen cylinders as the fire crept towards our building to prevent a major catastrophe. They also managed to save our ambulances.
We want us to ask you to help build us a new home in St Albans so we can get back to what we know best: reaching the sickest people as quickly as we can to provide first-class care by Paramedics and Ambulance Technicians when someone dials 999.
We are looking to raise a target of £10,000 to go towards some of the costs of:
- Finding a new building and equipping it to meet infection control standards - including installing separate water supplies for cleaning and decontamination
- Installing welfare facilities such as changing rooms, lockers and showers for Paramedics and ambulance staff to use at the end of their shifts
- And putting the infrastructure in place to help us do our job
All donations will go directly to the project of setting up a new base.
We are a team of caring individuals we would love to have your help building us a new home nearby.