HART technical rescue kit goes national
Bristol announces that its HART technical rescue kit has been adopted by all the UK's ambulance services.
London HART has become the latest Hazardous Area Response Team to equip its team members with innovative technical incident ground kit garments which allow their specially trained crew members to work within the Inner Cordon. This enables them to work in multi agency teams alongside the fire & rescue and police services when attending hazardous incidents such as explosions, vehicle fires, working at heights and within collapsed buildings.
Bristol Uniforms, the UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of personal protective equipment for the emergency services, designed the innovative garments which have now been procured and deployed by HART across England. HART is a Department of Health initiative that began over three years ago and was piloted in both London and Yorkshire who tested two elements of the HART capability – USAR (Urban Search & Rescue) and IRU (Incident Response Unit). The programme was then fully rolled out across England and by 2011 will see 15 teams in operation including two in London and two within the North West Ambulance Service based in Manchester and Liverpool. Another, in Northern Ireland, will be taking delivery of its HART PPE shortly. Over 1,100 sets of the distinctive dark green coat and trouser combination will have been delivered and deployed by the time all 16 teams are operational.
Bristol became an Approved Supplier to the Department of Health in 2010 paving the way for the Incident Ground Kit to be fully deployed within HART. Each member of every team, which has 42 specially trained ambulance personnel, is individually sized for their kit. This is then manufactured by Bristol for delivery to each HART unit. The design adopted nationally is based closely on the pioneering PPE originally designed for the Scottish Ambulance Service SORTs (Special Operations Response Teams) and first deployed in 2008.
James Price, HART Manager for West Midlands Ambulance Service and Chair of the National Operations Group for HART, commented, “ When we need to equip HART with a hard wearing and effective uniform for our wide range of skills we looked no further than Bristol. We are very closely linked with SORT in Scotland and their experience helped point the way. Bristol offer us a full service including collection and asset tracking which made the decision to use them very easy.”
Richard Cranham, Bristol’s Business Development Executive, who has played a central role in the roll out of the new technical garments added, “We are pleased to have been able to develop a garment that has met with the full approval of all the country’s ambulance services and to see the kit being deployed from the Scottish border to the tip of Cornwall. However, the business has been won against stiff competition from amongst our major international competitors and we take special pride in knowing that it has been a combination of the innovative characteristics and quality of protection being offered that have been the key deal breakers in securing a clean sweep. We also had to demonstrate our ability to produce the clothing to meet the individual deployment timescales of each HART to enable all the teams to meet their planned go-live dates”.