Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service and the South West Ambulance Service’s Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) now have a mutually beneficial MOU collaboration that promotes both community safety and effective response in the case of emergencies.
Rowan Delasalle, Station Manager National Resilience said:
“This is an exciting and important collaboration. The benefits of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) are that Urban Search & Rescue (USAR) and HART are trained in the same skills so if a terrorist incident were to take place we would respond together as one team.
The USAR team will be upskilled in our first aid ability and HART in their Urban Search and Rescue skills. We will also be familiar with each other’s kit. The greatest benefit is that we get to know each other and are on a first name basis.”
Mark Woolgar, one of the lead paramedics from HART, based in Exeter explained:
“Our job roles cross over when in the Urban Search and Rescue environment. Working together in this way means we have a better understanding on what capability USAR can provide and vice versa.
But more importantly we get to know people and are on first name terms so the working dynamic is greatly improved. It’s really a win-win situation.”
The exchange involves staff from HART operative working their shift alongside USAR whilst a USAR technician works their shift alongside HART.
Each member of staff will remain under the command and control of their employer while working, training and responding with their host organisations.