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Search and rescue services.

If there is a major incident, the Urban Search And Rescue (USAR) and International Search and Rescue (ISAR) teams specialise in finding and freeing trapped people.

Overview

What is Urban Search and Rescue (USAR)?

If there is a major incident – natural or man made – people can become lost and trapped. This is where the USAR team comes into play. They specialise in finding and freeing people from buildings that have collapsed, getting them to safety.

What is International Search and Rescue (ISAR)?

Essentially the same, though this team is trained to work overseas, providing support in circumstances such as the Nepal earthquake in 2015.

How do USAR and ISAR help?

These teams have a range of specialist equipment to find lost or trapped people, including:

  • Listening devices
  • Equipment for lifting and moving large pieces of rubble
  • Equipment to cut through concrete, masonry and metal
  • Specialised search cameras
  • Props to shore up unsafe buildings and kit to create wooden shores
  • Ropes to lift people out of collapsed buildings

Once the search team has pinpointed the lost person, they have a range of tools at hand to make the area safe and work to complete a rescue. Every rescue is different, but might including shoring up fallen masonry, cutting through debris to help people to safety, or using heavy lifting equipment to create exit routes.

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