A NEW four-wheel drive car to help save lives in the area has been taken on by the recently established First Response unit in Auchterarder.

And it has already been used to respond to 15 call outs since they went live in mid-December.

"A very worthwhile" service to the area, volunteer Sandra Pirie said they have had a great response on call-outs. Many residents are grateful for the service saying it could mean the difference between life and death.

They have a big area to cover in and around Auchterarder, including Dunning and Blackford therefore the new car will help them and the service they provide.

The service is growing every day and by the end of the month they will have 11 volunteers once they have completed their training. The newbies will be joining Auchterarder volunteer Sandra and Dunning resident Richard Ellison. The third member of the team, Sarah Langlands is currently at university studying medicine.

With more volunteers, the team plan to offer a seven day service, aiming to provide full cover across the weeks in the Strathallan communities.

Sandra said: "We are fully committed to the service as it is such an asset to the area. There is scientific proof that if you can resuscitate someone within eight minutes they stand a much greater chance of survival.

"It is such a satisfying job and great to be able to give back to the community. The community have been so supportive and are beginning to recognise the vehicle, and therefore our service, more and more."

The team have raised the thousands of pounds for the First Response car as although they work with ambulance control they receive no funding from the NHS. They are a charity and all their costs are met through fundraising efforts.

Their first big event of this year will be held next month in the Aytoun Hall. Tickets for the family ceilidh on Friday, March 9 are �10 for adults and �5 for children and are available from the volunteers or the Beauty Within salon on Auchterarder High Street. Music will be provided by the Blackford Fiddlers and the volunteers thanked the local businesses who have already donated prizes for the raffle.

To help the team with their fundraising efforts or to get involved, contact Sandra on 07752315593 or Richard on 07738539816.