Teams from UK fire and rescue services have deployed to the Republic of Türkiye to assist with search and rescue operations following the devastating earthquakes.

The 77-strong International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) team is made up of firefighters and staff from 14 fire and rescue services. It has deployed through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

They will be providing specialist technical support and expertise where it is needed most. A team of specialist search and rescue dogs has also been deployed.

The specialist team will undertake search and rescue work using a range of technical expertise, kit and equipment in a bid to save lives. NFCC Chair, Mark Hardingham

The UK is providing support that the Turkish government have asked for. UKISAR have specialist search equipment including seismic listening devices to detect and locate people, concrete cutting and breaking equipment, propping and shoring tools, listening and heavy lifting equipment.

UKISAR is formed from 14 UK FRSs and is on permanent standby to mobilise and assist when requested by disaster-affected countries. It always deploys as an official UK government team once a request has been made for assistance.

The team is made up from fire services in: Cheshire, Essex, Greater Manchester, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, London, Mid and West Wales, Merseyside, Scotland, South Wales and West Midlands.

NFCC Chair, Mark Hardingham commented: “The scenes in Türkiye and Syria are devastating to see and sadly the number of people killed and seriously injured has continued to rise.

“The specialist team being deployed will undertake search and rescue work using a range of technical expertise, kit and equipment in a bid to save lives, while supporting other emergency services teams already working tirelessly in the area. The team will undertake work where it is needed most, over the next 14 days.”

The team responds primarily to overseas urban search and rescue emergencies on behalf of the UK.

Any UKISAR team deployed is self-sufficient upon arrival and provides its own food, water, shelter, sanitation, communications and all necessary equipment to undertake search and rescue operations for up to 14 days.

This is to ensure no additional burden is placed upon a country already suffering demands on its resources following a sudden onset disaster.

All UKISAR staff are trained to use specialist kit and the equipment being taken will ensure the team has the ability and capacity to lift, cut and remove concrete and rubble from collapsed structures