British Search & Rescue Teams - Haiti

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by RearWords, Jan 24, 2010.

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  1. A puzzle to me that I'm hoping someone can answer. Our Search & Rescue team returned to the UK on the 23 January. I'm curious do we have more than one? If not is there a usual timespan (window of opportunity for the survivors) that they spend in any emergency situation? I now hear on the news that teams still there have pulled out a survivor. Did ours leave too early or do the international teams organise a rota? Will our team go back in?

    I in no way mean to belittle the British Search & Rescue team who I know were successuful in rescuing people but why are some countries' teams still there?
  2. There are three I know of.

    RAPID UK - a charity
    UK International Search and Rescue (UK ISAR) - drawn from UK Fire brigades
    International Rescue Corps (IRC) - a charity

    The first two deployed, whilst IRC tried to, but didn't have enough money in the bank.

    It seems they are, mostly, coming back as there is no reasonable likelihood of digging out any more survivors. Saving lives is now focussed on healthcare, food/water and sanitation/disease prevention.
  3. Thanks for the reply - didn't know there were three. Saw the press on the Fire Service team. I guess a window of twelve days is deemed sufficient in this type of work. But as was shown on the news today there could be survivors still under the rubble who are fortunate (not the best word) to be close to food/drink and unharmed when the buildings came down.
  4. I seen a bit on the local paper about the IRC and they are broke, if they went to Hiati they would fold, hopefully some wealthy donor can be found.

  5. It would have cost about £ 35'000 to got to Haiti and they have £30'000 of funds.

    I believe their Patron is Sir Richard Branson.
  6. Also to be considered is that the teams deploy very quickly to carry out immediate/short term rescue work and do not have the in depth logistical support, additional equipment and crewing capacity necessary to sustain longer operations.

    I believe it is the same with UK Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) and UKFRS; when attending Major Incident in UK (say train crash) in that the role in Haiti will now shift from the rescue phase to the recovery phase with heavy plant and equipments required to sustain progress.

    Having seen the RAPID UK Team in Muscat recently I am very pleased to see that they successfully deployed and made a difference to the people of Haiti.

    Well done all at RAPID UK
  7. What about the Legion of Frontiersman? ... I'll get my coat ...
  8. IIRC our local news BBC South East,was reporting that the Firefighters from Kent who had gone out would be returning after x number of days,as their own food supplies were running low.
  9. so this weekend would possibly a good one to answer the question"what do you do then?" with "I'm an international urban rescue technician, just back from Haiti actually...hard? Yes, there were times when...I'm sorry its so raw...I've always been sensitive, the other guys at the Fire Station tease me sometimes..."

    Make a nice change from training dolphins that will...
  10. Both IRC Rapid and BIRD used to be part of UKISARG, alongside the Fire Service, until politics played it's part and DFID handed over control of the purse strings to the Fire Service, who didn't like the idea of playing with the NGOs, some of whom have nearly thirty years of experience dealing with earthquakes, and shut them out of the process.

    IRC did not deploy as it would have cost us £40000 to get a team, with just light rescue equipment, to Haiti, relying as we do on scheduled flights. The kitty was thoroughly depleted after China and Indonesia, the latter costing us nearly £40000 in travel and kit left behind and and the Cockermouth floods also cost us two of our rescue boats which had to be replaced. Deployment to Haiti would have bankrupted us.

    USARS are self-sufficient, but usually only for a week at the most and there comes a point in every mission when the rescue teams have to decide that more lives will be saved by moving out and letting the aid teams into the operational area, as often infrastructure cannot support both. The UKSAR have acted as aid element in the past, after the intial rescue phase has finished and this happened in Haiti too.

    What is unique about Haiti is the number of survivors rescued by international teams. This is usually less than 20 and over 100 was unheard of. I suspect that it will be found that, unlike every other quake in living memory, very few people we'd categorise as 'lightly trapped' were rescued by locals. Normally you see news pictures of herds of people manhandling rubble out of the way to rescue survivors in the immediate hours after a quake. Didn't spot any of this in PaP.