How to become a HART paramedic: Hannah's story

Meet Hannah and learn more about life as a Hazardous Area Response Team paramedic, attending call-outs where patients are difficult to reach. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

The hazardous area jobs can get really challenging but I absolutely love pushing myself.

  • Hannah's job involves attending to patients in difficult-to-reach places, such as when they are at heights, or stuck in water. HART paramedics treat patients but don't transport them back to hospital
  • She says the job is like a cross between being a paramedic and a firefighter so she needs to be very physically fit for the role
  • Hannah studied Paramedic Practice at university to become a paramedic. After three years, she could apply to be a HART paramedic, which took an extra two months of intense training
  • She loves the challenge of her job, as well as the opportunity to help people.
Watch Hannah's colleagues in action on BBC One's Ambulance.

What to expect if you want to become a HART paramedic

Before becoming a HART paramedic like Hannah, you'll need three years of experience on the road as a paramedic.

  • Paramedic salary: £24,214 to £37,267 per year
  • Paramedic working hours: 36 to 38 hours per week. You work shifts, which could include evenings, weekends and bank holidays

What qualifications do you need to be a HART paramedic?

  • Typical entry requirements: You'll need to get a university paramedic qualification that is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Full-time courses usually take three years. You'll usually need two to three A-levels (or equivalent) for a degree. You can get into this role through a paramedic degree apprenticeship. There are no set entry requirements, but it may help if you have four or five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications such as A-levels (or equivalent).  
    It may help you if you have volunteered as a community first responder with an organisation like St John Ambulance or an NHS ambulance trust. You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator or manager at your local NHS trust for advice about opportunities.
    You can apply directly to this role via your local ambulance service. Each service sets their own entry requirements, though it may help your application if you have GCSEs (or equivalent) grade 9 to 4 (A* to C) in English, Maths and Science.
    Once you are an experienced paramedic with additional skills and qualifications, you can develop into other roles that allow you to carry out more treatments and take on more responsibility. There are many opportunities for experienced paramedics to develop into more specialised roles such as a HART paramedic like Hannah, advanced paramedic or consultant paramedic. See NHS Careers for further information.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

Find out more on the Prospects website about the role of a paramedic.

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

If you’re interested in working as a HART paramedic but are not sure if your skill set matches up, take a look at the Wheel of Strengths from Barclays Lifeskills.

It’s a nifty interactive tool you can use to identify your skills, interests and personality. It will also suggest jobs that might suit you and identify how building other skills could open up other job roles.

Take a look - your future awaits!

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