The UK International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) team, which includes Worthing firefighter Joe Sacco has arrived in Nepal and begun their mission in the earthquake-hit country.
They have been tasked with searching an area north of Kathmandu’s centre in the suburb of Chandol, plus surrounding areas.
The team flew from Stansted airport at 9.15 pm on Sunday (April 26th) bound for Kathmandu, but heavy air traffic at the Nepalese capital’s airport meant that they were diverted to Delhi.
As well as specially trained personnel and search dogs, the team has deployed more than 11 tonnes of equipment including cameras and listening devices that detect people, even when they are buried under large quantities of rubble.
The team is trained and equipped to safely shore-up any unstable buildings and to break through concrete or other obstacles which may be blocking access to trapped people.
The UKISAR team is fully self-sufficient for up to 10 days, providing its own tented accommodation, food and water and medical support for the duration of the deployment.
In addition to their search and rescue expertise the team is also exploring ways of assisting the World Health Organisation with the wider humanitarian effort, with a focus on the distribution of international aid.
The team of nearly 70 volunteers, drawn from UK fire and rescue services and health trusts, has been deployed by the Department for International Development (DfID).
There are six West Sussex firefighters there from the Service’s Technical Rescue Unit. They are based at Horley Fire Station but team members come from across West Sussex. They have previously been mobilised to earthquakes in Indonesia, Haiti, Japan and New Zealand.