Turkey earthquake: Local firefighters part of rescue efforts

Emotional scenes capture the UK team finding a survivor under the rubble.

Firefighters who have flown out are Watch Manager Mike Hurst of Leigh Fire Station, firefighter Steve Pennington, also of Leigh Fire Station, Station Manager Martin Foran of Ramsbottom and Heywood fire stations, and firefighter Dave Hedgecock of Ashton Fire Station.

They have been using specialist skills to support the rescue effort.

The Bolton News: The firefighters in Turkey. Left to right: Steven Pennington, Dave Hedgecock, Martin Foran and Mike HirstThe firefighters in Turkey. Left to right: Steven Pennington, Dave Hedgecock, Martin Foran and Mike Hirst (Image: Newsquest)

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which took place on Monday, has killed over 20,000 people in Turkey and Syria, with the Turkish government reporting more than 60,000 injured.

The number of deaths has surpassed the toll in a 2011 earthquake off Japan that triggered a tsunami, killing more than 18,400 people.

A video taken captures the moment the crew finds a survivor.

At the start of this video Firefighters Pennington at Leigh TRU red watch is on the left hand side (with the yellow stripes).


A Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “Earlier this week four of our firefighters headed out to Turkey as part of the UK International Search and Rescue Team.

The Bolton News: The devastation left behind by the earthquakeThe devastation left behind by the earthquake (Image: GMFRS)

“They are bringing their specialist skills to the search and rescue efforts taking place after the devastating earthquake.

Ramsbottom fire station boss joins response after Turkey earthquake

“They’ve sent us an update on what they’ve been doing in the city of Hatay. Station Manager Martin Foran of Ramsbottom and Heywood stations is performing the role of Ops Commander and is responsible for two crews consisting of 13 personnel each.

“Watch Manager Mike Hirst of Leigh Technical Rescue Unit is the deputy crew leader for one of these crews.”

The Bolton News: A firefighter delving into the rubbleA firefighter delving into the rubble (Image: GMFRS)

They continued: “Firefighter Steve Pennington of Leigh TRU is the heavy lift specialist within that crew and Firefighter Dave Hedgecock of Ashton Technical Rescue Unit is a search and rescue technician along with the others.

“You can see from the pictures the incredibly difficult conditions they are facing.”

The spokesman added: “We’re so proud of what our staff are doing in Turkey to help others.”

Disasters and Emergencies Committee (DEC), is co-ordinating a joint fundraising appeal by 14 British humanitarian charities, after the earthquakes on Monday.

The Government is matching all donations made by the public to the DEC appeal to a total value of £5 million.

The DEC said it expects humanitarian needs to grow in the coming days, with access to shelter, clean water and warmth all potential issues.

For more details on how to donate visit www.dec.org.uk.

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