Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD) Director General (DG) Brig Gen Md Main Uddin said Bangladesh’s joint rescue team including fire service men have improved the country’s image in the international arena by conducting search and rescue operations with great skill and sincerity following the devastating earthquake in Turkey which struck on February 6.
At a press conference at the fire service headquarters in the capital city on Wednesday, he expressed his sincere gratitude and thanks to Prime Minister for providing this rare opportunity.
Following Turkey’s call, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given instructions to send a joint rescue team to Turkey under the leadership of Bangladesh Armed Forces. A 12-member rescue team of Fire Service and Civil Defence was dispatched to Turkey.
The rescue team members from the Fire Service and Civil Defence were internationally trained in carrying out search and rescue operations in collapsed buildings in accordance with the standards of the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG).
Brigadier General Md Main Uddin said that the rescue team members of the Fire Service teamed up with the combined rescue workers of Bangladesh to conduct rescue operations in Turkey’s Adiyaman city and later in Hatay province. During the period, they recovered 1 young woman alive and 23 dead bodies.
Md Main Uddin said, “The Turkish government is very pleased with the services of the joint rescue team. On their request, the rescue period was extended. They were supposed to return home on February 15 but due to the extension of time they returned on February 21.
“Apart from sending the rescue team, we have sent warm clothes to earthquake victims. Ayesha, Deputy Charge of the Affairs of the Turkey Embassy to Bangladesh received these clothes.”
The press conference was attended by the Director (operations and maintenance) and other officials including 12 members of the rescue team.
It may be mentioned that a strong earthquake hit Gaziantep province in the south-eastern part of Turkey on February 6 and on the instruction of the Premier, a 61-member (Armed Forces, Fire Service and Civil Defence and 1 media member) joint relief team with essential medical supplies, relief, medicine, tents, winter clothes, blankets and rescue equipment travelled to Turkey on a Bangladesh Air Force C-130J transport aircraft.