WORKING WITH HART – HIGH RISK RESCUE & CONFINED SPACE TRAINING

Case study

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The Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) are specially recruited and trained EMAS personnel who provide an ambulance response to major incidents.

Their job is to triage and treat casualties and to save lives in very difficult circumstances. They are also there to look after other emergency personnel who may become injured whilst attending such incidents. The team have been using the training galleries at our training centre at Mansfield for a number of years, to refresh their competencies and enable ‘real-life’ scenarios to be played out and we are very pleased to provide the training for them.

The need

The Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) are specially recruited and trained EMAS personnel who provide an ambulance response to major incidents. HART work alongside fire and rescue services within the ‘inner cordon’ (or ‘hot zone’) of a major incident. Their job is to triage and treat casualties and to save lives in very difficult circumstances. They are also there to look after other emergency personnel who may become injured whilst attending such incidents. The team have been using the training galleries at our training centre at Mansfield for a number of years, to refresh their competencies and enable ‘real-life’ scenarios to be played out and we are very pleased to provide the training for them.

Initial approach

The Assistant Manager at our centre in Crossgates, Fife, Liam Parrish, visited the site for a full day and brought with him a range of equipment. At the time of the visit, Natural Power were carrying out trial pitting with a low ground pressure excavator. Having witnessed first-hand the works planned and the depth of the pits, Liam initially explained what equipment would make the work safer and what training for the workers was recommended. He was able to demonstrate the equipment and use to the Head of Geotechnical Services during the visit and afterwards wrote a report for Sean, to include in his fuller report to the Senior Management.

Liam explained that the pits they were digging fell under both the Confined Space and Work at Height Regulations and presented recommendations to achieve a safe recovery of a person from inside a trial pit should an emergency arise. In his report, Liam explained the HSE’s definition of a confined space and what specified risk was present in the pits. The soil is considered a free flowing solid which, in the context of a casualty within the pit, could submerge a person and preventing breathing. As there is no way for the material to flow away from a casualty they are classed as a confined space. Furthermore, due to the depth of the pits, the work at height regulations also applied. Liam suggested control measures that needed to be in place to prevent workers from falling into one of the pits. This included personal work restraint equipment but as there were also no anchor points, Liam suggested several improvised anchor points around each pit that could be used – such as trees. The work also required planning for emergencies and rescue.

Making it happen

Our training galleries provide realistic environments as close to those that the HART team are likely to experience in real-life situations and major hazards.

Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) Customer Testimonial from MRS Training & Rescue on Vimeo.

Recently all their team members (40+ persons) were put through City & Guilds accredited high risk confined space training and rescue and recovery of casualties from confined space training at Mansfield.

They took part in some rigorous training exercises had to react to two different scenarios:

  1. A casualty required rescue but to reach them the team had to access via scaffolding. So they used our working at height training rigs and were able to practise their safe working at height procedures.
  2. A casualty was in a high risk confined space and required rescue – our confined space training galleries were used.

In all exercises Drager open circuit twin-cylinder breathing apparatus was used which provides longer duration for the rescuers.

The long term benefits

MRS Training & Rescue also provide long duration breathing apparatus training to the HART team and further training support as and when required.

MRS Training & Rescue’s East Midlands Operations Manager, John Mowbray said “We are delighted to be working with the HART Team. They always put their team through very tough training exercises to ensure they are the best they can be and we are very happy to be able to provide not only our expertise in confined space and rescue but also our training galleries for real-life exercises.”

“We would like to thank Karl Sheppard for going up and above all our expectations as our Confined Space instructor. His hard work has given a tremendous response and feedback from the HART staff. The way he delivered the Confined Space the course was interesting, informative, and done with the upmost of professionalism. We would also like to congratulate Karl on his hard work in preparing the presentation and making it more directed towards HART needs and protocols. Employees like him must be a great asset to your organization. We would also like to thank John Wall for all his advice and help with administration, cleaning, repacking equipment. Without such help, it would have not been possible for the courses to run as smooth as they did. A massive thanks to MRS for allowing HART to use your amazing facilities, which have made our training challenging and realistic. And a big thank you to John Mowbray whose hard work has not gone unnoticed. I along with the entire senior management team would like to express our deepest gratitude to each one of you.”
Frankie Graham, 21C HART Confined Space Trainer

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