Search And Rescue Team

The United Kingdom International Search and Rescue Team (UK-ISAR) is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to respond to humanitarian accidents or disasters anywhere in the world.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service have an International Search and Rescue (ISAR) Team. The team responds to requests from the Government to help out during international disasters. The intention is for the team to arrive in the affected country within 24 hours of the disaster and be self sufficient for at least ten days.

Find out more about the Cheshire ISAR team

Cheshire help with rescue efforts in Japan

The Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service International Search and Rescue (ISAR) Dog Team has flown out to Japan to help with the search efforts.

Cheshire's search dog Bryn and handler Steve Buckley are part of a 63-strong UK International Search and Rescue Team who have flown to Japan to help in the aftermath of the major earthquake and tsunami.

Although search dog Bryn and Firefighter Steve Buckley, a firefighter based at Knutsford, were not required as part of the Cheshire team which went over to New Zealand following the recent earthquake. This time they have joined firefighters from Kent, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Mid and West Wales and the West Midlands for this latest rescue mission.

The UK team flew out on Saturday 12th March 2011 and landed at a military base in the north of Japan.

The UK team have joined up with Amercian rescue workers and have been tasked with supporting a search and rescue effort in the coastal town of Ofunato.

See updates from the Cheshire ISAR Dog team in Japan

Cheshire help with rescue efforts in New Zealand

The Cheshire Fire and Rescue Services UK International Search and Rescue (ISAR) team flew out to New Zealand on 23rd February 2011 for a 15-day operation in Christchurch.  

See updates from the Cheshire ISAR team in New Zealand  

The seven-strong Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service ISAR team was joined by teams from West Midlands, Essex, West Sussex, Hampshire, Grampian, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and South Wales. They were supported by a medical team of five doctors and nurses.

The members of the Cheshire team were:

  • Mark Coleman, based at CFRS Headquarters in Winsford. Mark is the Operational Commander in charge of the UK contingency

  • Station Manager Stuart Devereux, based at CFRS HQ, CFRS Team Leader

  • Firefighter Andy Hurst from Winsford Fire Station

  • Crew Manager Gareth Scott, Chester Fire Station

  • Watch Manager Mark Bushell, Runcorn Fire Station

  • Crew Manager Daryl Codling, Knutsford Fire Station

  • Watch Manager Paul Bickerton, CFRS HQ

About the International Search and Rescue Team (ISAR)

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has an International Search and Rescue Team.

The team responds to requests from the Government to help out during international disasters.

The intention is for the team to arrive in the affected country within 24 hours of the disaster and be self sufficient for ten days.

In order to achieve this, the team members have to be trained firefighters. They have been selected as suitable for the work and are fully inoculated for working overseas.

Additional training is required by all team members, which is over and above the training that is required for normal Fire Service duties.

These personnel must then take with them a range of equipment, which will enable them to live and work in hostile environments anywhere in the world.

Background to the International Search and Rescue Team

Service teams were sent out to Iraq at the end of the Gulf War in support of the Operation 'Safe Haven' and provided humanitarian assistance to the Kurdish population fleeing from an oppressive Iraqi regime.

This effort was so successful that in 1992 the Home Office invited Fire Services to form an organisation to respond to International Disasters. The organisation formed to meet this need was initially called 'The United Kingdom Fire Services Search and Rescue Team.'

Following this, the International UK Search and Rescue Team (UK-ISAR) was established.

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