Essex Fire Officer is thanked at 10 Downing Street
An Essex fire officer who was involved in the lifesaving response operations in Turkey earlier this year has been thanked during an event at Downing Street.
Group Manager Scott Meekings was invited to 10 Downing Street last night (Tuesday 9 May) to represent the UK International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) team for their work following the devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria in February.
The reception, hosted by government ministers and Turkish ambassadors, was a chance to express gratitude to the organisations involved in the rescue effort.
The UKISAR team, which is made up of volunteers from 14 fire and rescue services from around the country, is the official UK government international search and rescue team deployed to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, and wildfires.
During the reception Scott had the opportunity to meet representatives from other organisations involved in the rescue effort, including members of the Royal Air Force and the White Helmets, a volunteer group that assisted in rescue efforts over the border in Syria.
“It was a great honour to receive the invite to 10 Downing Street and to represent the ECFRS contingent of UKISAR, in recognition of the efforts and risks we all took to rescue the people from the devastation caused by the earthquake.
“It was an amazing opportunity to meet representatives from the other organisations that were involved in this rescue effort. I also found it a very humbling experience to meet representatives from the Turkish community who had sadly lost family and friends in the disaster, and to chat to them about their experiences and everything that they have gone through since.”
14 colleagues from ECFRS are part of UKISAR and are always ready to deploy to an affected country within hours of an official request for assistance.
During their rescue operation in Turkey the UKISAR team successfully rescued eight survivors and passed intel for three more rescues to other local rescue teams.
In total there were 90 International search and rescue teams who helped save 211 people who would not be here if it wasn’t for the selfless bravery of these teams.