UK Fire and Rescue Services are on standby ready to assist Lebanon, following the catastrophic explosions in Beirut on 4 August, which have claimed over 200 lives and injured thousands of people.
The blast in the Lebanese capital occurred when tons of improperly stored ammonium nitrate exploded, and a week after the Beirut explosion, Lebanon’s under-fire government collapsed.
The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) is in talks with the government as to what support the UK FRS could offer. If requested to assist, a team will be mobilised within a few hours prior to being deployed to support the rescue effort. And while no formal request has been made from Lebanon as yet, the situation is nonetheless being monitored.
UK International Search and Rescue (UK ISAR) – formed from 15 Fire and Rescue Services from across the UK – is on permanent standby to mobilise and assist when requested by disaster affected countries. It is part of the NFCC’s National Resilience work.
NFCC is in contact with the Department for International Development as UK ISAR deploys on behalf of the department and other government departments to assist with international search and rescue work.
UK ISAR is entirely self-sufficient. The team provides its own food, water, shelter, sanitation, communications and all necessary equipment to undertake search and rescue operations for up to 14 days.