London Marathon runners needed to help ‘life-saving’ Saffron Walden doctors continue work

11:49 19 January 2014

Two BEARS medics with their specialised equipment.

Two BEARS medics with their specialised equipment.


Specialised doctors who attend the most serious accidents and ­emergencies – including last month’s ‘Christmas miracle’ crash – need the help of marathon runners to continue their life-saving work.

The voluntary organisation Basics Essex Accident Rescue Service (BEARS), made up of 10 doctors and advanced-trained ­paramedics, relies solely on fund-raising and has 20 places up for grabs in this year’s London Marathon.

Vice-chairman Dr John Eaton, who has more than 35 years experience as a GP in Saffron Walden, said sponsorship from the charity’s marathon entrants keeps the organisation going throughout the year.

“It’s our most important fund-raising event,” said Dr Eaton, who was one of the first on the scene when a car was sliced in two after leaving the road and hitting a sign on the M11 just before Christmas.

“The Saffron Walden area has been generous in the past but fund-raising is becoming harder and this year we are finding it difficult to get runners for the London Marathon.”

Dubbed the “Christmas miracle crash”, Dr Eaton said initial media reports, corroborated by the ambulance service, that two people were involved in the Christmas Eve accident near Great Chesterford were incorrect.

“There was only one casualty and he had injuries to his left arm, left ankle and head. He was incredibly lucky,” he explained.

“If anyone else had been in the car they would have been killed outright, so that’s why I think of it as a Christmas miracle. None of the emergency teams who attended the accident had ever seen anything like it before.”

Dr Eaton added: “We attend the more serious accidents and incidents where our advanced skills are needed. Some of our equipment is not normally carried by ambulances or paramedics and we can administer additional procedures such as sedation.

“We are a valuable, specialised resource for the ambulance service and an extra pair of hands if they need it, and can be the difference between life and death.”

BEARS would like its runners to raise at least £1,200 by taking part in the London Marathon, which includes the cost of their ticket, running vest or T-shirt, certificate and postage.

• To apply for a place, complete the application form at or e-mail


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