Fire and Rescue NSW team takes on international leadership role in Türkiye earthquake response - VIDEO - Antakya, Türkiye

Published: 17 Feb 2023 04:21pm

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) firefighters, responding to the earthquake disasters in Türkiye, have begun leading all 140 international Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) crews.

In an Australian-first for a major overseas emergency response, four highly experienced FRNSW firefighters have taken control of the USAR Coordination Cell (UCC), which provides a single point of contact for coordination through the United Nations process to Türkish emergency management officials.

Their responsibilities now include assigning tasks to all international USAR teams, prioritising worksites, following up reports from disaster zones, and relaying information to Local Emergency Management Arrangements (LEMA).

The team is among 52 FRNSW firefighters deployed under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Disaster Assistant Response Team (DART).

The experts have so far recovered the bodies of at least 19 people as they sort through the rubble in the historic city of Antakya.

The operations on the ground in Türkiye are being backed up by FRNSW's Strategic Operations Centre (SOC) in Alexandria, Sydney, which continues to provide high-level advice and support.

The SOC is also helping personnel with any welfare needs as they arise and maintaining regular communications with their families back home.

_EDITORS NOTE: An operational update from Türkiye and footage from inside the Sydney-based SOC is available for download via this web link - _ [external link]

Updated: 17 Feb 2023 04:25pm

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