SFRS firefighters join UK's Nepal rescue mission

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UK’s International Search and Rescue mission flew from London after devastating earthquakes hit Nepal over the weekend.

SFRS name line on appliance

Six Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) personnel are on their way to Nepal as part of international rescue efforts following the devastating earthquakes which hit the country over the weekend.

The six, who are all from the SFRS’s North Service Delivery Area (specifically Aberdeen and Perth), flew out from London at the weekend as part of the UK’s International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) mission.

UK’s ISAR response is being co-ordinated by West Midlands Fire Service on behalf of the Department for International Development (DFID).

The SFRS firefighters have joined nearly 70 UK fire and rescue personnel who have been deployed as part of the UK response to the disaster. UKISAR’s control centre is co-ordinating the response and providing vital welfare support for the team and their families.

Also included within the team’s SFRS contingent is search and rescue dog Diesel, who has been specially trained to look for people within collapsed structures.

SFRS Chief Officer Alasdair Hay said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is proud to have highly-professional firefighters who are willing and able to help and support the Nepalese people.

“Our thoughts are clearly with the thousands of people affected by this terrible disaster. We have appointed a dedicated fire officer who is responsible for maintaining contact with our staff over in Nepal as well as keeping their families up-to-date.”

He added: “Our staff are highly-skilled technical experts in search and rescue who are ready for deployment at all times on behalf of the UK government.

“The team will be able to provide specialised, technical search and rescue assistance in collapsed structures. This will include locating and rescuing people deeply entrapped, canine support, medical teams, engineering, assessing the damage and stabilising scenes.”

The International Search and Rescue team is made up of staff from 15 UK fire and rescue services and is part of the Chief Fire Officers Association’s National Resilience Programme.

Previously UKISAR has assisted internationally with earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and the Japanese Tsunami. The team responds to overseas disasters at the request of the government and is one of 27 United Nations search and rescue teams from across the world.

Fire service personnel from across the UK arrived in Delhi on Monday morning (27 April 2015) prior to travelling on to the affected area in Nepal.

Everyone who has flown out is a ‘volunteer’ member of what’s known as ‘UK ISAR’, which stands for UK International Search and Rescue. They have been deployed as part of the UK Government’s response to the earthquake.