Wigan borough firefighter flies out to Turkey to join international disaster response to deadly earthquakes
Steven Pennington, from Leigh Fire Station, is one of four firefighters from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) who flew to the country as part of the UK International Search and Rescue Team (UK-ISAR).
UK-ISAR is a volunteer service made up of specialists from 15 fire and rescue services across the country, who are deployed to humanitarian incidents or disasters anywhere in the world.
Assistant chief fire officer Barry Moore said: “Our thoughts go out to the many thousands across Turkey and Syria who have tragically lost loved ones and livelihoods in these earthquakes, and to the emergency responders working to locate and rescue survivors.
"We know that those rescue efforts are taking place in challenging winter conditions, compounding what is already a very difficult operation.
“Four of our firefighters have now arrived in Turkey and will rapidly be deployed to assist search and rescue operations in the affected areas.
"As part of the UK-ISAR team, they are trained in the use of specialist skills and equipment and ready to respond to any humanitarian disaster that takes place anywhere in the world.”
Working as part of UK-ISAR, GMFRS firefighters have previously been deployed to respond to floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2014, the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in 2011, and the earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010.