Carnforth company helps design tower to save lives

HART team training on the new facility built by the Carnforth based company.
HART team training on the new facility built by the Carnforth based company.

A Carnforth company has designed and built a new training facility for North West Ambulance Service.

LARS Communications fabricated the new training tower facility for the Hazardous Area Response Team (HART).

The bespoke training tower was commissioned to provide an adaptable training at height facility for the HART team.

The Hazardous Area Response Team members are specially recruited and trained personnel who ensure that the North West Ambulance Service, one of the busiest ambulance services in the UK, is well placed to deal with major incidents.

These may involve chemical, biological or radiological materials, or involve other complex incidents such as train crashes or large-scale motorway accidents.

The HART team works alongside fire and rescue services within the ‘inner cordon’ of a major incident.

HART Team Leader, James Woodsell said: “This has been an exciting opportunity to be involved in from start to finish. The facility allows us to greatly enhance how our emergency services teams are trained to respond to a range of realistic scenarios where certain potential dangers are involved.

“This is particularly important for our Hazardous Area Response Team who is specifically experienced in responding to patients who are in high risk locations. To have a training facility such as this is excellent news and will be invaluable to help support our staff to conduct their training both realistically and safely.”

The tower stands at eight metres tall and incorporates various climbing elements designed for different working at height scenarios. It includes two working platforms with access hatches, fixed ladder access from ground level to the second platform hatch, mast climbing pegs and mast climbing staples.

Standard eye bolts have also been fitted to act as secure points for safety lines to allow personnel to climb the tower externally. Alongside the tower are two storage containers, each measuring 30 feet, designed to simulate further hazardous scenarios.

Phase two of the project will now see the containers further developed, one into a confined space rescue facility with crawl spaces and difficult extrication routes, whilst the other will be a multi-purpose domestic facility able to simulate realistic incidents such as Illicit Drug Laboratories or Individual Chemical Exposure (ICE).

Head of Special Operations, Joe Barrett said: “To be able to develop a training facility such as this is excellent news and demonstrates the trust’s commitment to supporting staff in realistic training for their roles. I would like to express my personal thanks to the team for the hard work they have put in to this project over the last 12 months.”

LARS Business Development Manager, Julian Cooper said: “It’s fantastic to see one of our bespoke structures being utilised in this way. “We all appreciate the vital work that the HART Team undertakes and we are proud to be associated with the development of this impressive training facility.”