Hazardous Area Response Team documentary series for UKTV

Really makes UK Television History with NHS Rescue Squad.

“After the success of Helicopter ER we are delighted to be working with Air Television on the unprecedented series, NHS Rescue Squad, as well as a further two series of Helicopter ER. The Really viewers have come to expect high-octane blue light documentaries from us and I am sure this will raise the bar with non-stop action making for unmissable viewing.” – Luke Hales, general manager, Really

UKTV today announced it has commissioned two series of NHS Rescue Squad for its free-to-air channel Really. It has also ordered an additional two series of Helicopter ER.

NHS Rescue Squad, has been picked up for a twenty episode order and is a land-mark in British television – the Yorkshire Ambulance Service is the first in the UK to grant access to its Hazardous Area Response Team (HART).  It’s one of 15 specialist medical units set up after the 7/7 London bombings to treat badly injured patients in extreme environments.

The unprecedented access will allow viewers to see the camaraderie and courage of men and women who risk their lives to save ours. They are trained to enter burning buildings, deal with the victims of terrorist attacks, brave toxic gas clouds and abseil to the rescue down cliff faces.

The series will also capture the banter in the mess hall and the blood sweat and tears of a training regime that demands high levels of physical fitness and skills ranging from nuclear decontamination to using high-speed flood relief boats.

The team’s advanced medical capabilities allow them to perform surgical procedures in a range of locations from the street to the cramped confines of a collapsed building or down a Pennine pothole, keeping patients alive long enough to reach specialised medical care.

The Air production team will also be among the first to use drone cameras at real emergency scenes thanks to a ground-breaking agreement with ambulance and fire service officers. Air Television has already captured dramatic footage of a major fire, a river rescue and several major road accidents.

The additional two fifteen episode series of Helicopter ER will continue to follow the work of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance as its paramedics, doctors and pilots respond to accidents and emergencies across the UK’s biggest county.

NHS Rescue Squad and Helicopter ER were ordered by Really general manager, Luke Hales and UKTV director of commissioning, Richard Watsham. They were commissioned by commissioning editor Arch Dyson for UKTV.

Both productions are to be made by Air Television. NHS Rescue Squad and Helicopter ER are currently in pre-production and will transmit in 2018.

“We believe the footage gathered by our drone, bodycameras and embedded shooting PDs will add to the very real drama of many incidents and allow viewers to understand the technical difficulty of many of the HART team’s rescues.” – Ian Cundall, executive producer, Air Television

UKTV’s free-to-air channel Really has established itself as the home of real-life programming. Real-life rescue is a key content pillar, alongside crime, paranormal and lifestyle programming. Really saw success with its UKTV Originals in 2016, Helicopter ER series premiere reached an audience of 3.3m individuals and Cops UK: Body Cam Squad debuted with an audience of 233k individuals.

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