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 on the job, she applied 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.

Before becoming a HART paramedic like Hannah, you'll need several years' experience on the road as a paramedic. For more information about the opportunities for experienced paramedics to develop into more senior roles, check out NHS Health Careers.

What to expect if you want to become a paramedic

  • Paramedic average salary: NHS band 5-6. Read more about NHS bands. Salaries will differ in private healthcare.

  • Paramedic typical 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 paramedic?

  • Typical entry requirements:

    • You can train at university by doing a paramedic science degree that is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Full-time courses usually last three years and typically require two to three A-levels (or equivalent) to secure a place
    • You can also get into this role through a paramedic degree apprenticeship. There are no set entry requirements, but having four or five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and college qualifications such as A-levels (or equivalent) may help
    • Another option is to start as an ambulance care assistant and, with experience, apply for a place on a paramedic training scheme. If you apply for a training scheme as a student paramedic with an ambulance service, you would do your university paramedic qualification on the job
    • You could build experience by volunteering as a community first responder with an organisation like St John Ambulance or an NHS ambulance trust, or by completing a first aid certificate
    • Paramedics also drive ambulances. If you're old enough and legally able to do so, learning to drive would be a useful step towards this role.

Check out the NHS Health Careers website for more information about working as a paramedic.

This information is a guide and is constantly changing. Please check the National Careers Service website for the latest information and all the qualifications needed. (Sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service, NHS Health Careers).

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: National Careers service (England), nidirect (Northern Ireland), My World of Work (Scotland) and Careers Wales (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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