South East Coast Ambulance Service’s (SECAmb) Hazardous Area Response Team, (HART), paramedics will benefit from a new confined-space training facility recently installed at their base in Ashford, Kent.

The specialist container, previously used by and donated by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, has been repurposed to cater for the training requirements of SECAmb’s HART. HART is made up of teams of paramedics who have undergone additional specialist training to work and provide care to patients in hazardous environments.

SECAmb’s HART have the use of purpose-built confined-space training facilities at its Gatwick HART base, but the newly-fitted out container will reduce travelling time and expense for Kent-based staff who previously had to travel to Sussex for such training.

As well as providing the environment for confined space training the unit compliments the team’s Working at Height (WAH) training and can be integrated with a WAH rig to provide a greater number of training scenarios.

The unit will also mean joint training with other organisations can take place at the Ashford site and allows the team to train to City and Guilds qualification level.

HART Operations Manager, Steve Dowdall, said: “The new training container is a really worthwhile facility to have at our Ashford base. It not only reduces the travel time for our teams but also increases opportunities for joint working with other agencies at the site. It’s vital that our HART paramedics train regularly for this type of incident, so they are well-versed in how to bring treatment to patients safely in challenging environments.”

Work to convert the container to the specifications required by SECAmb HART was carried out by local company LTR Welding Services.

SECAmb Estate Technical Manager, Paul Kent, who managed the project, added: “I’d like to thank West Sussex Fire and Rescue for donating the unit. I’m also pleased that we were able to use a local company to make the necessary changes and I would like to thank Lee and his team for all his help. The unit is a really beneficial addition to our estate which will benefit staff and patients.”