confinedspaceThe Specialist Operations Team of Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Services’ headquarters have ensured local HART (Hazardous Area Response Team)  paramedics are trained to enter incident 'Hot Zones' after a series of confined space simulations.

Before the training, casualties would have been brought out to waiting ambulance personnel by fire crews, to a ‘place of safety’ where treatment could begin. Having paramedics that are HART trained means potentially lives will be saved by assessing causalities as early as possible.

Now HART crews can enter the "Hot Zone" beside fire & rescue crews and administer advanced medical care at the centre of an incident, something Specialist Operations crew manager Warren Oak believes will ultimately result in more lives being saved.

"It’s very beneficial and a great eye opener to see what equipment they [HART paramedics] have and for them to see what we have and how we operate," he said.

"The HART teams are constantly monitored vital signs ensuring causalities are removed safety. The HART team set up an area inside the confined space area which is as close enough to a hospital environment as possible. Their high standard of medical skills enables them to work in extremely difficult situations. This means paramedic crews with the right skill sets and in the correct protective equipment.

"This is a great piece of partnership working and it is now recognized that it is critical that ambulance staff are able to have fast access to casualties. It’s great working with them and the bottom line is that lives will be saved by HART crews reaching causalities at an early stage."

Charity ‘Amputees in Action’ were also involved in the day to ensure everyone involved were able to experience the effects and management of trauma incidents in the most realistic way possible.

Christian Wiggin HART training manager said: “The HART team come into this exercise blind, simply not knowing what to expect. They only know they have to have the right kit for urban search and rescue. It was very hands on for everyone, having to assess a real person who has real injuries.

"They learn to manage the situation in their own way and each team has managed it very differently, but very well. The training has been invaluable it doesn’t get much more realistic in the area of causality management."

Posted 25/1/2013 by richard.hook@pavpub.com