2 years ago Duddon Inshore Rescue paid over a thousand pounds for a brand new paging system sold to us by 02. We were able to equip 25 crew members with these pager.
43p is all it cost for a group message to all 25 pagers. At the beginning of August this year we were informed by 02 that they were to discontinue the 02 paging system from Dec 31st 04. The reason cited was because it was no longer cost effective for them to use this paging system.
We as an emergency service depend upon these pagers to alert the life boat crew after a 999 call. We are now faced with having to go onto a rental paging system which could cost us anything from 12 hundred to 2000 pounds a year.
As an independent and self funding life boat station this added expense is going to put a burden on our already stretched income. It’s a bit of a bombshell to be told by 02 that they are discontinuing the paging system from Dec 31st without compensation.
We are already having to raise funds for a new rescue boat to meet new EC regulations, to divert funds from our boat appeal will delay us having our new boat up and running for the new year.
BBC 2 working lunch highlighted our problem on their lunch time show Wednesday 8th of September where I was invited to put my views across to the 02.
02 refused to come on the program and would only comment by way of a statement saying that it was to expensive for them to continue service. We as an organization ' Exist to saves lives ' this expense of a new paging system will put considerable strain on our already stretched finances.
The withdrawal of these pagers will effect many people who equally depend upon them. 02 has not offered us any other alternative accept to go over to a more expensive rental paging system.
Duddon Inshore Rescue is appealing for help from Furness business and beyond to help pay for a new system. If you can help please phone 01229 839686