Hazardous Area Response Team

Within SWASFT there are two Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART), based in Bristol and Exeter.

HART work alongside the police and fire and rescue services within hazardous environments. The job of HART is to triage and treat casualties and to help save lives in very difficult circumstances. The teams are also there to look after other emergency personnel who may become injured whilst attending these difficult and challenging incidents.

Paramedics in HART are trained to respond within the remit of four core capabilities:

  • IRU - Incident Response Unit. Allows HART paramedics to operate in environments involving hazardous materials using a range of personal protective equipment and specialist logistics. Includes the ability to operate inside inner cordons with the fire and rescue service using breathing apparatus and gas-tight suits.
  • USAR - Urban Search and Rescue. Allows paramedic care to be delivered to patients where safe working at height or confined space rescue is required. Difficult access incidents include collapsed buildings, tunnels and caves, cranes or rooftops and industrial settings like towers and storage tanks. These may also involve the use of all terrain vehicles.
  • IWO - Inland Water Operations. Allows paramedic care to be delivered to patients requiring water rescue. Situations requiring IWO include flooding and people injured around rivers or lakes. IWO will usually be delivered in conjunction with the local fire and rescue service.
  • TMO - Tactical Medical Operations. Allows HART paramedics to deliver paramedic care where ballistic protection is required from either firearms or explosives. Support to police firearms teams and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal).

HART also forms part of the health response in support of the National Capabilities Programme being led by the Home Office, which aims to ensure that fewer lives would be risked or lost in the event of a terrorist-related attack, or accidental CBRN incident.

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COMMUNITY DEFIBRILLATOR LAUNCHED IN SHIPHAM
South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) has worked in partnership with Shipham Parish Council to launch a community defibrillator in the village of Shipham, Somerset. Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are purposely easy-to-use and anyone can use them – the machines talk you through what to do, and that, alongside advice from our emergency call-handlers, means that anyone can help to save a life.
26/05/2016

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