Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Memorial walk raises £800 for Black Country ambulance service

Dudley MP Ian Austin, Deputy Mayor Steve Waltho and Councillor Adam Aston have handed over £800 to local voluntary group FastAid Black Country.

The money is part of the £4,600 raised by the Bert Bissell Memorial Walk which saw Austin and a group of councillors climb Britain’s highest peak in memory of Dudley hero Bert Bissell.

Bert Bissell (1902-1998) founded the Young Men's Bible Class at Vicar Street in Dudley. He lived at Selborne Road. He was a probation officer and climbed Ben Nevis on VJ Day in 1945 and many times afterwards, constructing a Peace Cairn at its summit. There is a monument to Bert at Coronation Gardens opposite the Council House.

Half of the money will now go to the Mayor’s charities Action Heart and Guide dogs with the rest being split between the British Legion, the Children’s Unit at Russells Hall and Black Country Fast Aid to support local ambulances.

FastAid Black Country are Community First Responders (CFR’s) - volunteers who respond to emergency 999 calls for the ambulance service. They are trained by the ambulance service to deliver basic life support and defibrillation to patients in cardiac arrest or with conditions such as strokes, choking, diabetic emergencies or traumatic emergencies.

Ian Austin said:

"I’m really pleased we’ve been able to support FastAid’s brilliant work.

"Local people have been so generous. Bert Bissell was a great friend of my family and the generosity local people have shown in his memory is a great tribute to the wonderful work he did in the area.”

Mayor’s Consort Councillor Adam Aston said:

“I’m a paramedic myself and I’ve seen the wonderful life-saving work FastAid do on a daily basis to help people with life-threatening conditions in the Black Country.

“They are a great team of volunteers giving their time to help the rest of us and I’m really pleased we’ve been able to support their work.”

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