As part of the EU funded disaster response training events the UK were asked to take part in one of the very large scale exercises. The disaster was centred on an earthquake and Tsunami type event taking place in Faultland (Langvang, Denmark really). The UK were joined by teams from France, Belarus and Denmark as well as a EU Civil Protection Assessment Team
The UK decided to send a Medium Rescue Team led by GM Dean Nankivell. The team was made up of FF’s from Essex, London, Scotland, South Wales, West Midlands, West Sussex, Cheshire and Leicester plus 1 senior Doctor and 2 x paramedics.
The whole exercise took place in ‘real time’ and lasted 3 days working around the clock. Many challenges were put in front of the teams, these included establishing a base of operations (tented village), reconnaissance and assessment, meeting local emergency agencies, search and rescue, medical intervention, team interoperability with other responders and host nation support.
The weather in Denmark was wet, cold and on occasions windy, not ideal for working and sleeping in tents but something that UKISAR are prepared for and can do quite happily now. The whole team worked continuously for the 3 days grabbing sleep and food whenever the opportunity arose. The whole team acquitted themselves to the standards we, UK ISAR, have set and expect. There were no injuries to personnel or canines. Feedback from the EU Trainers and Exercise Staff was exemplar and once again the UK was able to show the other teams why we are considered to be the best International SAR team in the world.
GM Nankivell said – It is important that UK ISAR prepare for real disasters on these type of exercises, working with other international responders to improve our own standards and knowledge and ensuring we, as a team, are ready to respond wherever and whenever we are called upon. As the Team Leader of this 45 person team it makes me incredibly proud to know that we can bring together firefighters from across the UK and work in complete harmony together whenever we are required to do so.
The funding for this exercise was provided by the EU Mechanism