UPDATE: Crawley Down firefighter at disaster scene in Nepal capital

Picture: Press Association SUS-150428-092421001
Picture: Press Association SUS-150428-092421001

A Crawley Down based firefighter who was sent to Nepal as part of a team to help rescue survivors is now working on ‘body recovery’ in the countries capital.

Adrian Kirkpatrick of the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) Technical Rescue Unit, based in Horley, flew out with five other members of the team to Nepal on Sunday (April 26) after a devastating Earthquake struck the country the morning before, leaving thousands dead and many more trapped.

The team have joined the UK International Search and Rescue team deployed to support the international response to the disaster.

The West Sussex firefighters are primarily responsible for the logistics operation and have helped establish the UK team’s base of operations in the grounds of the British Embassy in Kathmandu.

A spokesperson for WSFRS said the UK team spent much of yesterday (Wednesday 29) assessing the local infrastructure in the Chautara area of central Nepal and searching for missing people. However, with hopes fading of finding further survivors the team has now been asked to turn their efforts to body recovery.

Today (Thursday April 30) the team is helping at the scene of a collapsed six-storey building in Kathmandu.

A spokesperson for UKISAR said: “People’s chances of still being alive in the collapsed building are, tragically, virtually nil. We have confirmed that we will support body recovery operations.

“In addition, members of the team will be carrying out health infrastructure assessments in the Halambra and Lantang districts.

“Their team’s skills spread to far more than search and rescue. Several UKISAR members have training in, and experience of, disaster and humanitarian medicine.

“Their health infrastructure and medical assessment will involve gathering and feeding back medical intelligence to the international health organisations on the ground, to help them best prioritise their work and efforts.”

The team of volunteers, drawn from UK fire and rescue services and health trusts, has been deployed by the Department for International Development (DfID).