The team deployed as an assessment team but were also able to provide water purification and technical search and rescue. They assessed a number of collapsed or unstable buildings in Kathmandu before moving out to remote areas, deploying together with members of the UK ISAR team. In some cases they were the first rescuers arriving in affected villages, searching for people reported missing and feeding back vital information to the UN teams who were co-ordinating the aid effort.
SERVE ON are proud to have worked hand in hand with a number of other organisations in Nepal including UK ISAR and the British Gurkhas in Nepal. “We were hugely impressed with the way that the BGN have provided emergency shelter and support for hundreds of people from many countries - residents and visitors to Nepal who were made homeless by the earthquake” said SERVE ON Medic Peter Old.
Whilst in Nepal SERVE ON were hosted by the British Gurkhas. The two organisations intend to continue working together to improve community resilience, and have been sharing their skills and expertise before and during this recent disaster. SERVE ON also donated lifesaving technical search equipment to the BGN to enhance their future response.
The team will now be working with other search teams to learn together from the deployment. A key part of SERVE ONs ethos is to translate their experience in international disasters back into their local community. The organisations Community Resilience teams enable local people to get involved in preparing for and responding to disasters affecting their community and are being developed by SERVE ON both here in the UK and overseas.
At the Salisbury headquarters volunteers are now busy replacing and re-packing essential equipment ready for the next emergency, and are actively fundraising to cover the costs of the deployment. Friends and family are relieved to be reunited with the team, who will have Bank Holiday Monday to recover before going back to various workplaces next week.
Joanna Lumley, Ambassador for SERVE ON, says “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. Be the outstretched hand that reaches for them in the darkness and donate now, please.”