Home   Deal   News   Article

Firefighter resumes work in Port-au-Prince

Malcolm Cowie
Malcolm Cowie

Firefighters from Kent - including a Deal man who is based at Dover - have resumed their search for survivors in Port-au Prince, following last week's earthquake in Haiti.

They are working with the UK International Search and Rescue mission in Haiti.

Searching in areas that had not been accessed by emergency crews, the UK ISAR team found and rescued five people trapped in collapsed buildings.

The six firefighters, including Dover Fire Station watch manager Malcolm Cowie, were sent to the town of Leogane on Sunday, approximately 25 miles west of Port Au Prince, and much nearer to the epicentre of the earthquake. Reports indicate that 80 to 90 per cent of the town has been destroyed.

Speaking from base camp in Haiti on Tuesday morning, Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s team leader John Mazzey said: "We aim to be going into sector 13 of the city, within some areas that haven’t been searched in. Although time is ticking by, some rescues were achieved yesterday by teams from other countries, so we are going to continue searching.

"We’ve been to several areas of the city, some buildings seem to be relatively undamaged whereas others are what we would call ‘pancaked’, where they are completely flat. Sometimes we hear a voice within those areas and it is people that are trapped in those areas that we are most hopeful of rescuing.

"Local knowledge seems to be working best, where people know someone is in there and they’ve heard them from time to time, we then use the dogs to follow the live scent - as opposed to a fatal scent - and then we hone in using cameras and listening for people."

The team spent seven hours digging through the rubble of one building at the weekend to rescue an elderly man who was trapped.

He had been thrown out of his bed by the quake and had become trapped underneath it. The bed protected him and helped him to survive.

He was treated for dehydration and minor injuries.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More