Firefighters have returned from a rescue mission to Nepal

A team of firefighters from Cheshire have returned from a challenging mission to Nepal.

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake, reportedly the worst in Nepal in the past 81 years, struck April 25. It toppled buildings in the capital of Kathmandu and in Nepal’s second-largest city of Pokhara, and in many outlying villages.

Six Cheshire firefighters, who all volunteer to be part of the UK International Search and Rescue Team (UKISAR), went out to Nepal to help in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake that has killed more than 8,000 people.

The six from Cheshire were:

  • 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

During the 10-day mission the team worked around the clock to give assistance and medical aid to the people and communities that had been affected by the disaster.

Cheshire’s ISAR team leader, Mark Coleman, explained how landslides had caused many of the villages to become cut off and could only be accessed by helicopter. He added that part of his team’s mission was to help some of the villages who had not been reached since before the earthquake hit.

He said: “I led a team to Golchi which, is a town of 2000 people with about 200 houses – that had all been damaged in the earthquake.  When I arrived I met the elders of the community to explain who we were and that we would be carrying out an assessment to ascertain their needs. Sadly, the community had lost seven people in the disaster and another six were critically injured.

“We were able to help them by reinstating their water supply and giving medical aid to those who had suffered injuries such as fractures during the disaster. One woman had suffered a really traumatic injury that had left her unable to move for eight days – it was so rewarding to be able to help treat her and give her some comfort.

“I have to say that the people we met were wonderful, even after suffering such terrible loss they still showed amazing community spirt and were already beginning to rebuild their homes and help each other.”

Bryn, the search and rescue dog, was used to check for signs of anyone trapped in within buildings. The dog can detect life even if it is coming from beneath rubble.

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, who all volunteer their services, 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.

For more information about the team and their past missions please visit the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service website 


Cheshire firefighters in Nepal for earthquake rescue mission (opens in new window)


Nepal Rescue Mission Press Conference

The role of the search and rescue team in Nepal (opens in new window)

Date published: Tue, 12 May 2015 15:38:26 GMT

Last updated: Tuesday 12 May 2015

Related images

The Cheshire ISAR team in Nepal