LAS 7715 HART Ops Centre

LAS 7715 HART Ops Centre (Photo credit: kenjonbro)

For years there were only ambulance men and women until paramedics came along.  However, today’s new garlic bread hitting the front line are HART.  What are they?  In a nutshell, physically fit, volunteer paramedics, trained to deal with mass casualties in multiple sites, under threat from roaming gunmen similar to the scenes that befell those in Mumbai in 2008.

HART or Hazardous Area Response Teams consist of between 6 and 12 personnel.  They have been trained to move in behind police firearms teams whilst incidents are still live.  In the past, the ambulance staff and paramedics often remained away from the scene, at a holding point until the police had made the area relatively safe.

Having learned lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan, HART treat casualties in much the same way as combat medical technicians in theatre (not the operating one).  They have been equipped with the same ballistic vests as the firearms officers and have a high standard of clinical skills, able to treat severe injuries such as high velocity bullet wounds with Quikclot dressings, which are currently used in Afghanistan to stabilise injuries sustained by rifle rounds and improvised explosive devices.

Some of the teams have been trained to work at heights, such as high up on cranes and also in areas of Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear threat.

HART trained personnel are deployed in more than a dozen locations throughout mainland UK and others are expected to be trained in time for the Olympic Games.

So, next time you mount a police firearms operation in your novels, you may want HART personnel there to back them up.

Don’t forget to book your place on the Crime Fiction – Making it Real weekend workshop March 2012



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