Hazardous Area Response Team
What is HART?
The national vision, support and training for all Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART) teams is provided by the National Ambulance Resilience Unit (NARU).
They are comprised of specially recruited and trained personnel who provide the ambulance response to particularly hazardous or challenging incidents, and in some cases where there is a mass casualty incident.
Incidents may involve Chemical, Biological, Radiological or Nuclear (CBRN) or other hazardous materials, or could involve incidents such as train crashes, large-scale motorway accidents, building collapses or significant fires, and could be the result of an accident or caused deliberately.
Teams are based in each of England's eleven NHS Ambulance Trusts, which means they are able to cover the whole of the country, in some cases working together on specific incidents. Scotland has its own equivalent Special Operations Response Teams (SORT), whilst Wales has a Welsh HART team. View details of each HART team here.
Teams work alongside the police and fire & rescue services within what is known as the 'inner cordon' (or 'hot zone') of a major incident. The job of the HART teams is to triage and treat casualties and to help save lives in very difficult circumstances. They are also there to look after other emergency personnel who may become injured whilst attending these difficult and challenging incidents.
HART forms part of the health response in support of the National Capabilities Programme being led by the Home Office, which aims to ensure that fewer lives would be risked or lost in the event of a terrorist-related attack, or accidental CBRN incident. Within this, the key objective is to improve CBRN response capabilities towards ensuring that, "if a terrorist attack occurs, the response from all concerned will be quick and effective with the result that lives are saved and the impact on property and the environment is minimised." (Office for Security & Counter-Terrorism: "Prepare'")
National Mandate for HART