Hazardous Area Response Team
The Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) is an NHS ambulance service initiative devoted to providing medical care to patients in the "hot zone" of hazardous environments. Teams are activated and sent to various incidents, such as CBRN & HazMat, collapsed buildings, patients at height or in confined space, water rescue and flooding, firearms incidents and explosions.
HART teams are made up of emergency medical personnel, such as paramedics who have undergone specialised training in the use of special procedures, skills and vehicles & equipment. Their specialised equipment includes personal protective equipment (such as breathing apparatus, "Hazmat suits", and climbing tethers for working at height), cutting equipment for extrication, and flotation devices and rafts for working on water.
Capabilities of HART
All 16 HART teams within the ambulance services of England & Wales have the same capabilities.
- IRU (Incident Response Unit) - CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) & HazMat response
- USAR - Urban Search and Rescue, including SWAH (safe work at height) and confined space operation
- IWO - Inland Water Operations, including water rescue, flood response and paramedic care to maritime incidents within 12 miles of the British coast
- TMO - Tactical Medical Operations, working alongside police and other agencies to provide paramedic care
HART is operational in every NHS ambulance service in England and Wales.
- London Ambulance Service
- South Central Ambulance Service
- West Midlands Ambulance Service
- Yorkshire Ambulance Service
- East of England Ambulance Service
- North West Ambulance Service
- North East Ambulance Service
- East Midlands Ambulance Service
- South East Coast Ambulance Service
- South Western Ambulance Service
- Welsh Ambulance Service
Former NHS ambulance services that had HART capability include
- Great Western Ambulance Service(Avon/Gloucestershire/Wiltshire, now covered by South Western Ambulance Service)
- Leivesley, Sally (Winter 2003/4). "BANK STATION CHEMICAL ATTACK SIMULATION EXERCISE". Alert: 4–6. Retrieved 1 December 2013. Check date values in:
-  - Ambulance HART