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Five specially trained officers from London Fire Brigade have flown to Nepal as part of a 67 strong International Search and Rescue team (ISAR) to help rescue operations in Kathmandu.
The UK ISAR team is made up of teams from fire and rescue services across Britain, who can be deployed to disasters around the globe, on behalf of the UK government.
Each service undertakes to provide six search and rescue specialists. The UK team's effort will now form part of the overall search and rescue operation that will be co-ordinated through the United Nations.
As well as personnel, the team have deployed with 14.5 tonnes of equipment including specialised cameras and acoustic and seismic listening equipment that detects people, even when they are buried under large quantities of rubble.
Four specially trained search dogs and their handlers also form part of the UK deployment and will assist in locating casualties.
Once located, the team are trained and have equipment available to enable them to safely shore-up any unstable buildings and to break through concrete and any other obstacles which may be blocking access to trapped people.
The team is fully self-sufficient, providing its own tented accommodation, food and water and medical support for the duration of the deployment. This means the UK ISAR team will not be reliant on the scarce resources that are desperately needed by the local population in Nepal.
Director of Operations, Dave Brown, said: "I am proud that London Fire Brigade's Urban Search and Rescue capabilities are internationally recognised and that we can be part of a larger team making a big difference in such dreadful circumstances."