Turkey

RAPID UK rescues three people in Turkey

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The RAPID team has been searching apartments and hotels of varying sizes in Sakarya, a district of Adapazari where 70 per cent of the buildings have been destroyed - the worst in the Turkish earthquake zone. A meeting last night of all Rescue Teams at work in Sakarya, set up a grid of the city and each team is now searching a grid in which all buildings will subsequently be cleared as the final stages of the search and rescue operation.
Within hours of arrival in Turkey RAPID UK's eleven man disaster response team rescued a 41 year old male who had been trapped for 48 hours. A few hours later two further people were rescued in a combined effort. RAPID UK's rescue dogs Gemma and Kelly played a major part in their rescue - the first time British rescue dogs have successfully recovered survivors from an earthquake.

The eleven member rescue team, plus two dogs from the Gloucester based charity RAPID UK, arrived in Istanbul in the early hours of Wednesday evening. The team were taken by road to Adapazari where they set about their search and rescue effort immediately on arrival.

Westcountry ambulanceman and RAPID UK Director, Graham Payne, and Barry Sessions, Training Officer who is an oyster fisherman from Devon, assisted during the earthquake in Northern Turkey in 1993. Other team members are Nick Spence a paramedic with Westcountry Ambulance Service Trust from Saltash, Cornwall, Paul Minshull from Northlew, Devon, Paul Blewitt, Mike Holyhead and David Sleeman from Gloucester, John Miller from Buckinghamshire and Stewart Welland from Hertfordshire. The dog handlers are Simon Gillam from Hampshire and Chris Pritchard from Leicestershire.

RAPID UK is a voluntary organisation supported entirely by contributions from the public and business sector.