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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

Schaeffler sources rare clutch for charity ambulance

Date: Friday 21 June 2024

Schaeffler went above and beyond recently with the team sourcing the correct replacement clutch system for an ambulance operated by a local community first responder (CFR) charity based in Walsall, West Midlands when no one else could find one. The company also lined up a local garage to fit the kit for free.

Fastaid Walsall fields a team of CFR volunteer paramedics who are called out by West Midlands Ambulance Service if they can reach a life-threatening situation, such as a heart attack, stroke, choking incident or diabetic emergency more quickly than a regular ambulance crew. CFRs normally cover an area approximately seven minutes travelling time from their home or workplace.

Fastaid Walsall relies on their two vehicles to undertake the vital services they provide. Unfortunately, when the clutch failed at 100,000 miles on the charity’s 57-plate Kia Sportage, it turned out that the part needed had become surprisingly rare in the UK.

This was a big problem. “Our Kia Sportage is the only 4x4 the group operates,” said Fastaid Walsall volunteer paramedic Derek Chebsey. “It is vital for off-road jobs, and it is really handy when it snows.”

The charity made an appeal for help in finding a suitable replacement clutch via a Facebook post. This was seen by Mark Dolloway, Managing Director at Schaeffler Automotive Aftermarket (UK) Ltd. He sprang into action and was able to quickly obtain the correct OE Schaeffler-made clutch kit and DMF. Mark then called upon the services of David Green at his garage DG Automotive to fit the clutch for free so Fastaid Walsall could get back on the road.

“Fastaid Walsall provides a life-saving service to the local community in and around the area,” said Mark. “When we got in touch to see if we could help, we were able to obtain the part, and then call on our friends at DG Automotive so it could be installed as fast as possible.”

With the Kia back on the road, Fastaid Walsall’s little fleet is back to full strength. “We are incredibly grateful to Mark and everyone at Schaeffler” said Derek.

To find out more about Fastaid Walsall, visit:

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