In a joint rescue oper­a­tion with the rescue teams SARAID (UK), SARUV (AT) and AKDF (TR), the Light USAR team of @fire (DE) was able to save another human life in Kahra­man­maraş on Friday evening. A 15-year-old girl was located under the rubble of a collapsed house this after­noon. With combined forces, the rescue oper­a­tion began. The helpers dug a tunnel into the moun­tain of rubble. In the evening hours the reliev­ing news: The girl could be saved alive. More than 110 hours after the earth­quake, this borders on a miracle.

Through­out the day, @fire’s 40-member search and rescue team was out in the heav­ily damaged city, check­ing several collapsed homes for possi­ble survivors. In the morn­ing, one of the rescue dogs had struck a pile of rubble. Tech­ni­cal locat­ing equip­ment and addi­tional rescue dogs were then deployed. However, the assump­tion that there was a survivor was not confirmed.

With each pass­ing hour, the like­li­hood of rescu­ing people alive from the rubble dwin­dles. Never­the­less, @fire’s search and rescue team contin­ues tire­lessly to search for buried victims. Rescue dogs and tech­ni­cal equip­ment are used non-stop to search for survivors in the numer­ous collapsed buildings.

Mean­while, a small @fire team inde­pen­dently runs the Reception/Departure Center (RDC) at Adana Airport. The three @fire staff members have their hands full there, regis­ter­ing and coor­di­nat­ing the arrival and depar­ture of the now more than 120 inter­na­tional teams. The RDC is a central compo­nent in the coor­di­na­tion of inter­na­tional aid under the umbrella of the United Nations Inter­na­tional Search and Rescue Advi­sory Group (INSARAG).The Sector Coor­di­na­tion Cell (SCC) in Kahra­man­maraş was also able to be supported by the @fire forces with IT equip­ment and supplied with an Inter­net connec­tion via satel­lite. The SCC coor­di­nates local search and rescue oper­a­tions in the provin­cial capi­tal of 665,000 inhab­i­tants in the south­ern part of Anatolia.

@fire - Inter­na­tionaler Katas­tro­phen­schutz Deutsch­land e. V. is a non-profit civil protec­tion orga­ni­za­tion that has been provid­ing rapid emer­gency aid world­wide follow­ing devas­tat­ing natural disas­ters since 2002. Respon­ders are specially trained in wild­land fire­fight­ing (WFF) and search and rescue of buried victims after earth­quakes (USAR). All of the more than 400 members are involved in national and inter­na­tional disas­ter relief on a volun­tary and unpaid basis. The civil protec­tion orga­ni­za­tion was clas­si­fied as the world’s first Light USAR Team by the United Nations Inter­na­tional Search and Rescue Advi­sory Group (INSARAG) in 2021 and oper­ates accord­ing to inter­na­tional stan­dards. Fund­ing for oper­a­tions, train­ing, and equip­ment is primar­ily donor-funded.

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