Developments in Operational Command Training

Sid MurphyBy Sid Murphy, NARU Operational Command Trainer

March 2014 saw the delivery of the final HART Team Leader course in its current format. This course was developed in response to requests from Trusts for a course that covered the unique challenges of HART Team Leaders/Supervisors during their day to day operations.  But don’t be disheartened at its demise, as it has led to an exciting new command course.


It was intentionally written as a separate entity to existing HART based courses, with a heavy emphasis on robust decision making, the recording of the decisions and the rationale.

The course utilised the skills and experiences of Subject Matter Experts from Policing, Fire and Rescue, Ambulance Service and legislation, the speakers having practical experience in commanding some of the highest profile events seen in the UK over the past 4 decades.

The final day consisted of the students receiving an explanation of the judicial inquiry system used in England and Wales, the tricks that can be used against a witness and finally a mock court scenario where delegates were exposed to the experience of being cross-examined in a safe environment.

The feedback from delegates has always been highly positive as illustrated below:

“Great speakers, good table top exercising, it has given me new ideas to take back to my Trust” HTL – WMAS

Good course, well presented and excellent guest speakers that really got the point of the session home.” HTL – NWAS

I think that the course has been invaluable to my development. All of the content is relevant and essential to the role of the Team Leader” HTL – SWAST

In relation to Coroners Court Session “Really good session that would be valuable to anyone in an Ambulance Command role” HTL – WMAS

The sentiment of last quote was a common one on the evaluation forms and led to the decision to amalgamate the best elements from the HART Team Leader and Operational CBRN Command Courses to expose Operational commanders to the high level of experience and expertise.

The new look CBRN Commander Course is being launched in June 2014, and will be a four day course covering not only CBRN, but also other challenging situations that on-scene commanders may face including other terrorism threats as well as natural disasters such as flooding. It has the Initial Operational Response (IOR) at the heart of its content, and is heavily geared towards getting the highest level of clinical care to the patient, in a timely and the safest method whatever the circumstances.

NEAS_HART6The content of the course fully incorporates and endorses the “Joint Doctrine: The interoperability framework” published by the Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP), and is aligned to the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Ambulance Commanders.  It also incorporates the AACE approved National Ambulance Command and Control Guidance Document (2012).

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