Construction begins of Exeter specialist ambulance hub

SWASFT HART training Paramedics are trained to deal with a range of hazardous incidents, such as collapsed buildings

Related Stories

Construction work has started on a new ambulance hub for the south-west of England.

The special operations centre (SOC) at Exeter's Skypark is the base for the ambulance service's Hazardous Area Response Teams (Hart).

Hart units are trained to respond to incidents such as collapsed buildings, hazardous materials and flooding.

If the building work remains on schedule, the centre should be operational next year.

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said the new base in Exeter, together with a base in Bristol, would provide cover for serious incidents across its area which includes Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

Trained personnel will also be deployed to major national incidents elsewhere.

Image of proposed Ambulance Special Operations Centre at Skypark, The proximity to the M5 made Skypark an "ideal location" for the specialist hub

Hart paramedics have also been trained in convoy driving, which means up to four vehicles can respond to an incident without causing too much disruption to other drivers.

The Exeter SOC will operate 24-hours-a-day and will also be used as a training and administration facility for the trust.

A rapid response ambulance service will also be provided for the local area, including the new town of Cranbrook.

Stuart Blatston, Hart manager at the ambulance trust, said the new hub's "ideal location" and proximity to the M5 would "guarantee the delivery of an effective and essential rapid response service for the South West".

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Devon

Weather

Plymouth

Min. Night 13 °C

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • HouseboatLife on the water

    Could a floating house be the home of the future? The BBC's Adam Shaw takes a look

Programmes

  • The Audi RS7Click Watch

    Tech news review of the week including a speed record for a self-driving car

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.