Paramedics and fire-fighters in the UK are to be issued with bullet proof vests in response to the tragic events of the last week in Paris and the growing fears that a similar attack is imminent in the UK.
Training on how to deal with a ‘marauding’ attack by terrorists has also been given to emergency response teams throughout the country. Emergency responders have also been given training in treating specific gunshot wounds.
According to a report in the the Daily Telegraph, paramedics and fire fighters are also being trained in how to operate in buildings, airports, railway stations etc. that may be dangerous or booby-trapped with IED’s (improvised explosive devices).
In an update to the House of Commons last Wednesday, Home Secretary Theresa May advised of the existence of specialist units that would receive the training. The units, known as Ambulance Intervention Teams (AIT) were created prior to the 2012 London Olympic games due to the increase in vulnerability of Britain to a terrorist attack during that period.
They will be sussed with ballistic vests and helmets and will be trained to deal with what the government describe as a ‘Marauding Terrorist Firearms Attack.’
These specialist units will be utilised in ‘warm-zones’, which are areas where a terrorist attack has recently taken place and could be vulnerable to further activity. They will be expected to enter ‘hot-zones’ where the attackers are still carrying out the attack. Apparently reports have suggested that the SAS have been involved with certain units training.
This is not the first time that ambulance crews have been given ballistic armour; during the troubles in Northern Ireland, ambulance crews and paramedics were issued with stab-proof vests to guard against knife attacks when treating patients.
We’d love to hear from any Paramedics or Ambulance Crew, how would you feel going into a ‘warm-zone’ situation? Get in touch or comment below.