Hazardous Area Response Teams: celebrating 10 years in the making and counting

The Hot Zone Working ProjectThe Hot Zone Working Project had been in operation since 2004 and was slowly but surely gathering its evidence on behalf of the Ambulance Service Association. At the same time, a Multi-Agency Initial Assessment Team (MAIAT) had begun a 12-month trial in London by London Ambulance Service NHS Trust (LAS), London Fire Brigade and the Metropolitan Police. There were two firsts for MAIAT which included a multi-agency base and vehicle set up, but it also saw paramedics trained in breathing apparatus and respirators so they could access patients in hazardous areas.The evidence from the Hot Zone Working Project and MAIAT was submitted to the Department of Health in early 2005 with the expectation of a long deliberation. The tragic events of the 7 July 2005 accelerated discussions as MAIAT was deployed and a decision and funding were allocated shortly afterwards. The next 6 months proved to be busy, challenging and rewarding for all involved, who now had the opportunity to improve the health response to these types of incidents and critically improve the outcomes for patients.

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