Firefighters return home following their relief mission to Japan
Members of the International Search and Rescue Team have been praised for the professionalism, dedication and courage on their return from Japan
Stephen O'Brien, International Development Minister, has praised the International Search and Rescue Team for their courage and professionalism in Japan. He said: "People should be proud of the team's professionalism, dedication and courage. Through their vital work, Britain was at the forefront of assisting Japan in the aftermath of this terrible disaster.
"Despite cold, hard conditions the ISAR team worked relentlessly to search for survivors in the utter devastation of the earthquake and tsunami, providing much needed relief Japan's own exhausted disaster teams."
Following a direct request from the Japanese authorities, the team of 59 rescue specialists, two rescue dogs and four medical staff spent three full days searching two towns in Northern Japan - Ofunato and Kaimaishi - where tens of thousands were missing. Using their specialist search equipment and rescue dogs, the teams worked quickly to search for any survivors.
The earthquake and the tsunami had left a trail of devastation across a wide area of north-eastern Japan. Despite an extensive search of both towns and their surrounding areas, no survivors were found.
West Midlands Fire Service Chief Fire Officer Vij Randeniya said "Our teams are always ready to respond to emergencies anywhere in the world at short notice but we are always pleased to have them back safe and well. I cannot praise them enough for their dedication and commitment in carrying out this essential role especially in such arduous and stressful circumstances."
Posted: 11.30am, 21.03.11
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