Firefighters head off to help Haiti earthquake relief effort

Two firefighters from Avon Fire & Rescue Service are among a team of volunteers heading to the Caribbean island of Haiti to help with the relief effort, following a massive earthquake.

Station Manager Rob Davis and Crew Manager Paul Incledon are both members of the charity Search and Rescue Assistance in Disasters (SARAID).

Tuesday’s 7.0-magnitude quake is thought to be Haiti’s worst earthquake in two centuries, with thousands of people feared dead or seriously injured.

On call and ready to respond 365 days of the year, SARAID volunteers are drawn from all walks of life and meet every month to train for emergencies which could see them called to anywhere in the world. In the past the group has been mobilised to the 2008 earthquake in Pakistan and 2007 flooding in Mexico.

Paul, who in his day job is a member of Avon Fire & Rescue Service’s Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team, was called upon to help with the search and rescue effort in Indonesia last year.

Station Manager Rob Davis said: “SARAID’s role in Haiti will be focused on searching for those missing or trapped in the rubble of the collapsed buildings. We will be using sound location devices, camera equipment and propping and shoring equipment to try and locate and rescue casualties.”

SARAID is funded entirely through public donations – for more information on the charity’s work visit www.saraid.co.uk