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Andrew Mitchell MP welcomes West Mids international search and rescue team back to Sutton Coldfield


Andrew Mitchell MP has welcomed home the West Midlands specialist search and rescue team who returned to the UK last weekend following their relief missions to New Zealand and Japan.

Greeting them at Sutton Coldfield Fire Station, local MP and International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell praised the team for their courage and professionalism in both disaster zones.

Andrew Mitchell talked to the 7 West Midlands firemen about their experience in New Zealand where, joined by colleagues from across the UK, they carried out command and control, search, rescue and recovery duties in an effort to aid the emergency services and rescue teams already in New Zealand.
More recently 12 West Midlands firefighters joined a team of 59 UK rescue specialists, two rescue dogs and four medical staff in Northern Japan where they spent three full days searching two towns – Ofunato and Kaimaishi. Using specialist search equipment and rescue dogs, the teams worked quickly to search for any survivors.

The earthquake and the tsunami had left a trail of devastation across a wide area of north-eastern Japan. Despite an extensive search of both towns and their surrounding areas, no survivors were found.

Chief Fire Officer Vij Randeniya said, “Our international search and rescue team is of world class standard, they travelled to the other side of the world to help out the people of New Zealand and Japan. They did a fantastic job and we are very proud of them.”

UK ISAR Operations Commander, Sean Moore, said, “It was a pleasure to meet with Mr Mitchell to discuss the deployment and the wider role of International Search and Rescue.”

Andrew Mitchell MP said, “I am extremely proud of the West Midlands search and rescue team’s professionalism, dedication and courage. Through their vital work, Britain was at the forefront of assisting both New Zealand and Japan in the aftermath of their terrible disasters. It was a pleasure and a privilege to welcome these brave men back to Sutton Coldfield.”

The Department for International Development, headed up by Sutton’s MP Andrew Mitchell, is the Government Department responsible for the mobilisation of the UK’s world class international search and rescue team.

Photo: Back (L-R): Jeff March, Dave Burns, Mr Mitchell, Sean Moore, Paul Burnham and front (L-R): Jim McParland, Eddie Allsop, Pete Woodhead.

Andrew Mitchell MP welcomes West Mids international search and rescue team back to Sutton Coldfield


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