International firefighters in specialist exercise in Aberdeenshire

The simulation of a building collapse in Aberdeenshire
The simulation of a building collapse in Aberdeenshire

Firefighters from a specialist rapid response team rescued ‘casualties’ after a simulated building collapse took place in Aberdeenshire.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) personnel are part of the dedicated UK International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) unit, which is deployed by the British Government to help people caught in natural disasters around the world.

The firefighters were joined in the training exercise at SFRS College Portlethen by their counterparts from the Scottish Ambulance Service’s Special Operations Response Team.

In the scenario, the emergency responders crawled through rubble to reach wounded people.

Andy Coueslant, SFRS deputy assistant chief officer, said: “We are very pleased to contribute to the UKISAR team by providing on-call specialists who can be sent to help people far beyond Scotland when disasters strike.

“We have specialist capabilities and are able to deploy them to save lives wherever and whenever they are needed.

“As we have seen in tragedies around the world, the international effort can make a big difference and we are proud to be a part of that.”

Martin Vardy, SFRS crew manager, explained the value of the training: “The exercise focused on casualty care, which is obviously a key part of disaster operations.

“It was great to have the help of the ambulance team as we practiced stabilising severely injured people and getting them safely from collapsed structures. It is important to maintain these skills.”