Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire firefighters help with Japan quake rescue

Japan earthquake aftermath
Image caption The UK teams are designed to be entirely self-sufficient

Seven Lincolnshire firefighters have flown to Japan to help with the rescue effort following a 8.9-magnitude earthquake and tsunami.

Their role will be to assist in the rescue of survivors in the town of Ofunato, a coastal town hit by the tsunami.

The team will be working with two American search and rescue teams.

The firefighters are part of the United Kingdom International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) team.

Dave Ramscar, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue's chief fire officer, said: "All the team have arrived safely and are fit and well.

"The plan is to set up a base of operations at a suitable site close to Ofunato and get to work as quickly as possible.

"Despite the extensive damage in Ofunato, there are a number of structures still intact in the town which require assessment and searching.

"At this stage of the operation the search dogs will be highly effective at detecting signs of life over the large areas involved.

"If there are any signs of life the teams will then concentrate their efforts in these areas with specialist tools that can penetrate reinforced concrete and metal to gain access to victims and shoring equipment that allows team members to maintain a safe working position during rescue operations."

The UKISAR team is made up of 63 firefighters and two search and rescue dogs from Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Kent, the West Midlands and Lincolnshire, as well as Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Services.

The UK teams are designed to be entirely self-sufficient, with their own tents and food for up to 10 days.

More on this story