Wanstead paramedic joins 999 call to Mongolia

Paramedics are gearing up for the road-trip of a lifetime when they deliver seven decommisioned London ambulances to Mongolia.

The 14 ambulance staff, including some from Redbridge, will depart on the 7,000-mile overland from London to the Asian county’s capital, Ulan Bator, on July 7.

They will join a total of 37 ambulances and emergency vehicles from around the country making the hair-raising journey coordinated by Wanstead businessman Charlie Hogg and the charity Go Help.

Paramedic Robin Smith, 31 from Mansfield Road, Wanstead said: “I have done a lot of travelling and long distance road trips but nothing quite like this.

“We will have something to offer when we get there - we can train the people who will use the ambulances in things like CPR. If they then save one life then that makes it worthwhile.”

Mr Smith, who is a paramedic based in Shoreditch, said he is not overly concerned about getting cabin fever on the 32-day drive.

He added: “I used to be a submariner in the navy so I am used to living in close proximity to people.

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“But I have a heard a few horror stories from previous years about people being arrested by police.”

Project organiser Charlie Hogg began the idea when he drove an ambulance to Mongolia aged 21, in 2008. His actions led to him being nominated as a Recorder Young Citizen of the year, and he went on to receive the national Young Citizen of the Year award from the Rotary Club in 2009.

“The hope and dream of the project is not just delivering the vehicles but having trained paramedics there to open their eyes to what they can do. The two groups can learn form each other.

“To have some many ambulances and such well trained professional volunteers is brilliant.”

To find out more about the Mongolia rally, visit www.gohelp.org.uk

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