Kenya teamA Hampshire firefighter is part of a five-man multi-skilled team which is tasked with training a nation’s emergency services to be prepared for disasters of any kind.

The elite squad will take equipment to Khorog, Tajikistan, and train the crews in water, rope and boat rescue as well as USAR (Urban Search & Rescue) techniques.

There have been clashes in recent years between the residents and the military and the UK International Search and Rescue (ISAR) team will frequently need to travel by helicopter due to the terrain.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Specialist and Technical Rescue team Station Manager Chris Roper said: "I am looking forward to going and helping to pass on the skills we have acquired over the last fifteen years.

“When we leave we want to feel we have improved the country’s preparedness for any disaster and raised standards across the board.

“It is extremely gratifying to leave a country feeling that you have given the people the tools and knowledge to help protect their communities.

“It will also be interesting to see how people from other services do things as we are all always keen to find new skills and techniques we can take back to improve our own response.”

Station Manager Roper will been joined by colleagues from fires services in West Sussex, London, Scotland and Wales on the trip which will last from September 18 to 29.

Khorog is one of the poorest areas of the country and the British Foreign Office warns tourists of civil unrest, sporadic violent clashes and a threat of terrorism.

The mountainous region, between Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and Pakistan, is in an earthquake zone and prone to heavy flooding.

The UK ISAR team will be working with the development organisation AKDN (Aga Khan Development Network) which helps implement improvement in parts of the developing world.

The firefighters have committed to raising standards across the world and in the past ten years Station Manager Roper has trained crews in Libya, Kenya, Trinidad, Poland, Denmark and been deployed to New Zealand.