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Trapped in a collapsed building, a heart attack on a crane or fallen down a cliff and chemical leaks, just some of the scenario's the new Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) will go to.
From Thursday 15th March the new team comprising 42 ambulance paramedics who have undergone extensive, additional training and are able to triage and treat patients under hazardous and potentially contaminated conditions.
The team work in shifts and are available for deployment seven days a week, around the clock. The HART will be dispatched via the Trust Clinical Hubs (Control Rooms).
Alternatively, their attendance may be requested by a partner agency. The sort of triggers which may warrant a HART response include; patients trapped in collapsed structures, incidents involving multiple casualties, urban search and rescue, flood water, and incidents involving hazardous materials.
The SWASFT HART is also one of the first in the UK to receive specialist Response Convoy Driver Training. The need for this training has arisen because potentially there is a need for multiple resources to respond to incidents together.
The course is delivered by qualified instructors, and has been adapted from police services protocol, and allows up to four vehicles to respond safely to the scene of an incident whilst causing minimal disruption to other road users.