FIVE firefighters from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) have landed in Morocco as part of national research and rescue efforts following a devastating earthquake in the country.
The GMFRS team flew out to Marrakech on Sunday evening (10 September) and are part of a UK International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) team made up of 60 operational crew members from 14 fire and rescue services. The team has been deployed through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office following a request for support from the Moroccan government after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake stuck on Friday (8 September.)
The GMFRS team consists of Station Manager Martin Foran who is acting as Operations Commander and who also travelled to Turkey earlier this year to support the UKISAR search and rescue operation following the earthquake on the Turkey-Syria border. He is joined by Watch Manager Gavin Kearsley from Ashton Technical Response Unit, who will be a crew leader; Watch Managers John Hughes and Simon Cording from Leigh TRU, and Crew Manager Ross Strother from GMFRS’s Technical Training team, who will all be technicians.
They are being supported back in Greater Manchester by Watch Manager Mike Hirst who is coordinating the GMFRS response and who also joined the Turkey response in February.
GMFRS Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Barry Moore, said: “GMFRS is pleased to be supporting the national search and rescue operation in Morocco and we send our thoughts to the people of Morocco and everyone affected by this devastating event.
“Our team of five highly skilled search and rescue technicians have safely arrived in Marrakesh where they have set up a base of operations and we expect to hear more from the team in the coming days, but we are grateful to them and to their families.”
National Fire Chiefs Council Chair, Mark Hardingham, said: “The thoughts of the UK’s fire and rescue services are with all those affected by the devastating earthquake in Morocco.
“A team of specially trained firefighters and medics from the UK has been deployed to assist following a request from the Moroccan government to the British government.
“They will be providing specialist technical support where it is needed most to save lives and support local emergency service teams”. For updates, follow @Manchesterfire
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