Cheshire firefighters return from Nepal

A team of six firefighters from Cheshire and a rescue dog went to Nepal on a search and rescue mission following the devastating earthquake in Nepal that killed more than 8000 people.

The Cheshire team joined a 67 strong International Search and Rescue (ISAR) Team.

Please see below for updates about the search and rescue efforts in Nepal.

Update Thu 7th May - Bryn and Steve arrive home

Our search and rescue dog Bryn and his handler Steve Buckley have now arrived back in Cheshire.

Update Wed 6th May - five members of the team arrive home

Our five members of the UKISAR team returned home today, after 10 days in Nepal on a search and rescue mission.

They arrived back at Cheshire Fire HQ at 1pm, and then took part in a press conference at 2:30pm, after a 26-hour journey back from Nepal.

Our search and rescue dog, Bryn, and his handler, Steve Buckley, are still in Nepal but are due home tomorrow.

Press conference

Transcript - Nepal Rescue Mission Press Conference (new window, PDF 238KB)

Nepal Rescue Mission Press Conference (new window, Movie 9661KB)

Update Fri 1st May - the team to search the East sector of Kathmandu

UK ISAR teams are being sent to the East sector of Kathmandu, heading to the Sindupalchok region, establishing a new Base of Operations in Chanutara.

They will be working with the Nepalese Army and British Ghurkhas Nepal providing assessment expertise.

All members of the team are fit and well.

Update Thu 30th April - search of a collapsed building and infrastructure assessments

UKISAR have confirmed that the team will support body recovery operations, and will today be helping at the scene of a collapsed six-storey building in Kathmandu. UKISAR

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.

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

“The 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.”

Update - Wed 29th April - whole team in Nepal searching for missing people

The UK International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) team has now arrived in Nepal and have started their rescue mission.

The team has been tasked with searching an area north of Kathmandu’s center in the suburb of Chandol, plus surrounding areas.

The team will provide specialised technical search and rescue assistance in collapsed buildings. This includes locating and rescuing people deeply entrapped, search dog support, medical support, engineering, assessing damage and stabilising scenes.

A spokesperson for the team said: “Our volunteer members train hard and are fully prepared to help in whatever way they can with the rescue efforts. These are highly-skilled firefighters and staff from UK fire and rescue services, and specialist doctors and paramedics.

They will be giving their all to help the Nepalese during these catastrophic events. It will be extremely challenging work, and we are giving them and their families every support possible.”

The team of nearly 70 volunteers, drawn from UK fire and rescue services and health trusts, has been deployed by the Department for International Development (DfID).

Update - Tue 28th April - Steve and Bryn are in Nepal

Steve Buckley, an on-call firefighter at Knutsford Fire Station, and search and rescue dog Bryn, have arrived in Kathmandu.

All other members of the team are still in Delhi, waiting to be transported to Nepal.

Find out more information about the Cheshire Search and Rescue Dog Team

Update - Mon 27th April - team in India waiting to go to Nepal

The team are currently in Delhi, India awaiting transport into Nepal, which has been severely disrupted.

It is expected they will reach their destination tomorrow.

Update - Sun 26th April - Cheshire Team on their way to Nepal

Six Cheshire staff and a rescue dog are joining a 67 strong International Search and Rescue Team, who are currently on their way to Nepal to help with a search and rescue mission.

The six from Cheshire are:

  • Mark Coleman, based at the Service’s Headquarters in Winsford

  • Alexander Hayes, based at Crewe Fire Station

  • Stuart Devereux, based at the Service’s Winsford, Headquarters

  • John Turner, based at Chester Fire Station

  • Daz Tennant, based at Chester Fire Station.

  • Plus, Steve Buckley, an on-call firefighter at Knutsford Fire Station,
    and the search and rescue dog, Bryn.


More info about the Cheshire 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 Search and Rescue Team

More information about the deployment to Nepal

Link to Government website for more information about the deployment to Nepal (opens in new window)

Video - the role of the Search and Rescue team in Nepal

Here is a video of Station Manager Gareth Scott talking about the role of the Search and Rescue team in Nepal, and the frustrations of the Cheshire Team who will be desperate to get to Nepal to help with the search and rescue efforts:

Transcript for the video (above) about the role of the search and rescue efforts in Nepal (new window, PDF 74KB)

Podcasts -  the role of the Search and Rescue team in Nepal

In the podcasts below, Station Manager Gareth Scott talks about the role of the ISAR team.

Gareth Scott (see photo on the right) has been a member of the UK International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) team for 12 years. He was part of the UKISAR team that went to New Zealand to help with the aftermath of the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2011.

Gareth was one of the reserves that drove the team down to London for the Nepal mission.

The following podcasts explain the role of the ISAR team and what the crews will be doing in Nepal: