The astonishing cost of helping save lives across Lincolnshire will top more than £1m, says a county-based emergency response charity.
Officials at the Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service (LIVES) say they need £1.1m to cover operating costs over the next 12 months.
The organisation - which is largely dependant on volunteer responders - attends more than 1,500 call-outs every month.
Stephen Hyde, LIVES’ marketing manager, admits raising such a significant sum was a daunting task.
However, he said the charity was determined to succeed because without its efforts, more people could die.
Mr Hyde explained around £300,000 of funding was secure from health service sources.
The rest - around £800,000 - comes from donations and fundraising efforts.
He said: “It is a major challenge but we have got to do it.
“We get a lot of support. It doesn’t matter whether people raise £20 or £30 - or £30,000. Every pound helps.”
“We have a very strong responder group in Market Rasen. They cover a large area and do a first class job.
“We do have a couple of vacancies for responders and we would welcome any donations because you never know when you might need us,” Mr Hyde added.
Market Rasen campaigner Guy Grainger, who has fought to keep the town’s ambulance station open, said LIVES “bridges the gap” that EMAS (East Midlands Ambulance Service) cannot always fill.
“Thirteen per cent of call-outs are answered by LIVES, which shows how vital they are.,” he said.
Mr Grainger says EMAS has “terrible” response times, with rising times reported for LN7 and LNS postcodes, which cover Rasen and Caistor.
This meant LIVES was even more essential.
“The answer is to keep ambulances local, which also saves money on fuel,” he said.
“I think LIVES should be supported to the utmost. It keeps us from going over the brink,” Mr Grainger added.
*LIVES is still looking for people to raise funds by competing in the Lincoln 10K run on Sunday March 22. Anyone wanting to enter to should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01507 525999.