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Specialist team from Kent Fire and Rescue Service to assist earthquake rescues in Haiti

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS), as one of the first call teams, has a group of six firefighters ready to be deployed as part of the UK Government's response.

Specialist Kent firefighters are being prepared to join the UK International Search and Rescue response

Specialist Kent firefighters are being prepared to join the UK International Search and Rescue response and assist in the aftermath of a massive earthquake in Haiti.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck last night and it is being reported that hundreds have been killed or injured in and around the capital, Port-au-Prince.  

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS), as one of the first call teams, has a group of six firefighters ready to be deployed as part of the UK Government's response.

KFRS Assistant Director of Community Safety, Steve Griffiths said: "Our firefighters are currently joining teams from other fire and rescue services while equipment is also being assembled in readiness to fly out to Haiti.

"Our firefighters are currently joining teams from other fire and rescue services while equipment is also being assembled in readiness to fly out to Haiti"

"Kent's specially trained search and rescue firefighters were involved in international duties in October last year when they deployed to Padang in Indonesia after an earthquake. We are pleased that their experience and extensive training may be used again to support the response effort and we are proud of the dedication and professionalism that they display at any incident they are called upon to attend."

Based in Maidstone, the 14-strong team has been selected from existing KFRS staff and is trained to use specialist equipment capable of handling a range of major emergencies.

The team also forms part of KFRS's Urban Search and Rescue response which has capability including kit to lift, cut and remove concrete and rubble from collapsed structures along with sophisticated equipment for finding casualties, including special cameras and listening devices.

The tools they use can penetrate reinforced concrete and metal to gain access to casualties and the use of shoring equipment allows team members to maintain a safe working position during rescues.

Any deployment outside of the UK will not affect the team's search and rescue capability.

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