Visit to the team by NWAS HART team.

This evening the team hosted a visit to our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ by the North West Ambulance Service Hazardous Area Response Team. (NWAS HART)
Formed as part of a national capability following many recent major incidents and terrorist incidents the team provides many unique capabilities from within the Ambulance Service.

With one team still forming based in the Merseyside area of NWAS, the team that visited this evening predominately covers the NWAS Greater Manchester area, and though currently based at Stockport Ambulance Station is soon to move to purpose built premises within the Trafford Park area.

Arriving at 19.45hrs, the visit started with an introduction to the concept of HART and the NWAS HART team by Paramedic Joe Barrett, Head of Special Operations.

In essence he described to the 31x Bolton MRT Call Out List members present tonight, that the HART team exists to deal with the following incidents, CBRN (Chemical / Bacteriological / Radiological / Nuclear), HazMat (Hazardous Materials), HazChem (Hazardous Chemicals), USAR (Urban Search and Rescue) and Major Incidents.

Joe brought along four of his teams five types of vehicles, consisting of their

  • Command Vehicle (with enough PCs, camera systems, interactive display screens, datalink / networked systems, communications and lighting to make us all dream of what we could have if we ever won the Lottery, not to mention the self contained kitchen and rest area- yes it even carries a fridge, and of course, a toilet),
  • a Reconnaissance Vehicle,
  • USAR Vehicle
  • and a Response Vehicle.

The Reconnaissance Vehicle was also very impressive, particularly its mass oxygen portable delivery equipment, able to supply 40x individuals per system at one time.

As it started to get dark, the HART teams impressive vehicle mounted lighting systems came into play, even team member Matthew ’Torchboy’ Hailwood doesn’t have a torch system as powerful as their floodlights !

As sometimes happens, after emptying all four vehicles of their kit, to better display it, and starting the group presentations on each HART vehicle, the HART team first of all received a standby message regarding a developing situation which quickly changed into a request for the HART team to deploy immediately to the South Manchester area for an incident where their capability was potentially required.

Now it was our turn to watch someone else pack away in a hurry

So they got an incident and we were left with an empty courtyard devoid of the NWAS HART team. (Maybe next time we’ll get to see the full presentation)

Thanks to the following NWAS HART Team Paramedics who attended tonight and gave us such a fascinating insight into their work ; Head of Special Operations Joe Barrett, HART Team Leader Danny Wheal, and HART Team members Jim Bateson, Nigel Hamer, Graham Delaney and Ron Shank.