Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Sunday, 9 May 2010 16:49 UK

East of England Ambulance hazard crews unveiled

The East of England Ambulance Service has officially unveiled its Hazardous Area Response Teams (HART).

The highly skilled teams will be able to operate in areas that previously paramedics could not easily access.

The team are trained to work in hazardous environments, which may need protective clothing and gloves.

The team has specialised vehicles with breathing apparatus and oxygen delivery systems. They will assist police and fire crews.

'Finely skilled work'

Steven Moore, HART manager, said: "Specialist training and personal protective equipment has given our HART paramedics the skills and equipment to get to a patient in a hazardous environment, in a confined space or those trapped at speed."

Hayden Newton, chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service, said: "A lot of what we do is quite finely skilled work - putting in needles, giving injections and putting in breathing tubes to maintain airways.

"Those are the sort of things that you find very difficult to do with a thin latex glove on.

"Doing it in thick protective clothing and thick rubber gloves requires intensive training and good practice."

The East of England Ambulance Service covers Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

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