Essex councillors get to HART of the action

An Essex councillor found her visit to the ambulance service ‘enlightening’ as she donned the full kit of a specialist paramedic.

Councillors from the Essex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee were guests of the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) on 7 March 2014 when they visited EEAST’s impressive training centre in Great Notley.

The councillors met with local managers and the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART). The HART is highly skilled and can work in difficult environments allowing them to provide emergency patient care faster at the scene of a major incident.  Historically, treating such patients didn’t happen until after the fire and rescue service had arranged for them to be brought out of the inner cordon, known as the hot zone. Specialist training and personal protective equipment (PPE) has given paramedics skills and equipment to work alongside the fire and police services and reach patients who are in hazardous environments, confined spaces or trapped at height, to give life saving treatment and care at the point of harm.

Jill Reeves at EEAST HART [Image courtesy of EEAST]
Jill Reeves at EEAST HART [Image courtesy of EEAST]

Jill Reeves, Chairman of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Group, joined the team in carrying out their manoeuvres as she was kitted out in a PPE suit with breathing apparatus.

Jill said: “We found the whole visit extremely interesting and were very impressed by the enthusiasm and professionalism of the team.  It was a memorable experience and the demonstration we watched highlighted the teamwork and utter dedication which is so important.”

“It was a truly enlightening experience not only wearing the protective suit, but getting in and out of it as well.”

The councillors were also shown some of the HART vehicles including an incident command unit and a response unit.  All the vehicles have state of the art technology on board to enable the use of voice, data and video operations to aid the quick location and treatment of patients and a complete overview of any major incident site.

For more information about HART click here.