Community first responder carrying Olympic torch

JPCT 03-04-12  Andrew Clark torch bearer for Weymouth S12141054a -photo by Steve Cobb
JPCT 03-04-12 Andrew Clark torch bearer for Weymouth S12141054a -photo by Steve Cobb

A COMMUNITY first responder (CFR) and St John Ambulance volunteer from Horsham will run with an Olympic torch after being chosen from tens of thousands of nominees across the UK.

Andrew Clark, of Trundle Mead, has been nominated as one of the 8,000 ‘inspirational people’, including celebrities and sports personalities, who will get to act as a torch bearer in the 70-day relay around the UK.

The 43-year-old said that he is ‘over the moon’ after being nominated by his colleagues at Lloyds TSB Commercial Banking Group in Kent, who were invited to nominate a colleague who had made a difference to their local community.

He said: “I didn’t think I would be chosen because I thought loads of other deserving people must have been nominated.”

The father of two, who was voted South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) and CFR fundraiser of the year after contributing 413 hours of voluntary hours in 2010, said that he is looking forward to carrying the torch in Weymouth on Friday July 13.

He said: “I think it will be fantastic. The Olympic sailing will be held there when I’m doing it too so I expect it to be very exciting.”

After the run, Mr Clark, who has been a member of the SECAmb since 1986, will be taken to schools in Weymouth to inspire them with stories of his volunteer work.

CFRs are dispatched by the SECAmb to attend 999 calls in a five-mile radius to where they live in order to give life saving medical aid until the ambulance crew arrive on scene and last year Mr Clark attended 156 calls and was on call for a total of 600 hours.

He said: “I am also responsible for finding and writing business cases for grant applications and last year I was successful in raising £8,000 to fund new equipment for our responder team.

“For a number of years I have crewed an ambulance and I am also involved as part of the management team in organising the medical cover for The Epsom Derby and the British Heart Foundation London to Brighton bike ride.“

Mr Clark’s parents, wife and two children, will be supporting him in Weymouth and there will be a live news feed on the BBC for everyone to watch the torch’s progress from Land’s End on Saturday May 19, around 1018 communities, to the Olympic Stadium on Friday July 27 where it will be carried as part of the Olympic Games opening ceremony.

To find out more about the Olympic Torch relay go to the official website at http://www.london2012.com/olympic-torch-relay