In April 2015 Serve On International Response Team were the first British team on the ground in Nepal after the devastating earthquake in Kathmandu.
The team of 8 were able to carry out assessments on the ground over a one week period, including leading an assessment of the most affected area in the epicentre of the earthquake. The team comprised two fire service personnel, one paramedic, four ex-service personnel and one emergency planner and management consultant - with 70 years of combined disaster response experience they were able to deploy at a moment's notice, something our International Response Team is always prepared for. The role of Serve On changed significantly over the course of the week, from immediate search and rescue in Kathmandu to surveying and searching in very remote rural villages, to training and capacity building with locals, as well as working closely with the British Gurkhas in Nepal.
Serve On was linked to the British Gurkhas before the earthquake and had been jointly involved in preparedness exercises in Kathmandu earlier in the year. Throughout this rescue mission the teams have been swapping expertise and experience, leaving behind some valuable lifesaving equipment upon departure from Nepal, which will be put to good use in supporting the affected communities.
Whilst the team in the field were doing an excellent job the deployment would not have got off the ground if it wasn't for the UK Ops Room who were supporting 24/7. Booking flights, procuring visas, updating friends and relatives, tracking the teams whereabouts, communicating with partner organisations, embassies and laying Operational Plans. Everyone who took a shift or supported the Ops Room during the deployment deserves a huge round of applause - thank you to everyone who got involved and made a success of this deployment, we are all incredibly proud.
Deployed members and Ops Room staff we have to thank for supporting this deployment: Abb, Alex, Aliyah, Andy E., Andy H., Becky, Benji, Brett, Clare, Craig, Dan, Dave, Gemma, Jay, Keith, Kev, Mark C., Mark G., Mauve, Nick, Nikki, Paul, Pete, Raz, Selina, Simon, Stuart, Tom, Tony and Tracy. You kick ass!
Joanna Lumley, Ambassador for Serve On said:
"I am so pleased and proud that Serve On International Response Team acted so fast. With precious skills and equipment needed in the search and rescue effort in Nepal you truly make the difference between life and death for those trapped."