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Life-Saving MissionsThe Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) is the largest independent lifeboat service in the U.K., providing inshore rescue boat and land search assistance to Severn Estuary, the upper reaches of the River Severn and the Wye, Bristol Avon, Tewkesbury Avon and Usk rivers.
The charitable organization has nine operational boats, nine mobile response units, five stations and approximately 150-plus volunteers. The organization is called upon to respond to incidents such as boats or persons in distress, missing person searches, animal rescues and flood relief and support.
Identifying VolunteersSince SARA’s volunteers often intermingle with other rescue crews, having an ID badge to indicate who’s who is crucial. But being a charitable organization where all donated funds are allocated to the upkeep of mission critical equipment, there simply wasn’t enough remaining budget to purchase a professional-quality ID card printer to create personnel badges in-house.
“Our volunteers often work alongside police, ambulance and fire rescue crews, so they need to be easily identified,” said SARA Communications Officer/Committee Member. “But the cost of even a basic ID card printer — which was all that we needed — would have cost us about five lifesaving rescues.”
With not a single paid employee on staff, SARA volunteers originally produced their own IDs using simple card stock and then laminating the badges to make them more durable. Then, a local company with an ID card printer allowed the organization to use their system once a year to make more professional, durable cards. But SARA volunteers had to do so after office hours and members who joined throughout the year had to wait until the next year to get their cards.
Contributing to the CauseIdeally, having a high quality, in-house ID card printer at its headquarters would save SARA time — and allow ID cards to be made as new volunteers joined the mission. Looking for a way to procure an in-house ID card printer, SARA volunteers approached Entrust Datacard partner DED Limited hoping to secure the donation of either a new or used card printer.
DED was eager to help. With the full support of Entrust Datacard, DED made an in-kind donation of a new Datacard SD160 card printer equipped with Datacard ID Works Basic software, along with blank ID cards and the first set of supply ribbons.
“SARA plays an important role in saving lives in our waters and onshore,” said Jeanette Burton, Marketing Manager with DED Limited. “When we learned of the opportunity to contribute to the cause, we worked with Entrust Datacard to determine the right printer, software and supplies for SARA’s needs and happily made the donation.”
ID Cards to the RescueThe card printer, located in SARA’s Beachley, Chepstow location in the U.K., is now used to issue high quality, durable ID cards to all volunteers across all of the organization’s locations from Newport in South Wales to Kidderminster and above in the West Midlands.
“Our volunteer members are very pleased with the professional looking ID cards we can now produce with the donated card printer,” said the SARA Communications Officer/ Committee member. “The ID cards save our volunteer members time and we now have the ability to print ID cards during station training or other administrative duties.”
Find out more about the work that SARA do by visiting their website here: www.sara-rescue.org.uk
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