Paramedics assist in humanitarian rescue operation in Nepal

Two paramedics from the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (WMAS) have gone to Nepal to assist in the humanitarian rescue operation, following the devastating earthquake that hit 80 km north west of Kathmandu on Saturday.

The earthquake, which measured 7.9 on the Richter Scale, has claimed the lives of over 5000 people, with many more still trapped under the rubble.

Steve Watkins is a paramedic and member of Search and Rescue in Disasters (SARAID), a British charity dedicated to trying to save the victims of disaster.

Simon Greenfield is a Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) paramedic and member of Humanity First Medical, a group of health professionals who aim to provide help during disasters and peaceful times supporting medical needs.

They are joined by Dr Malcolm Russell, a medical incident officer with WMAS and BASICS emergency doctor with Mercia Accident Rescue Service in Herefordshire. He is also medical director, Urban Search and Rescue Medical Team, of the UK International Search and Rescue Team. He provided support during the Christchurch earthquake and Japanese tsunami, and flew out on Sunday to Nepal along with a team of 67 firefighters/medics, four dogs and over a tonne of rescue equipment.

Anthony Marsh, WMAS chief executive, said:

‘Our good wishes go with all three of them as they go into what will undoubtedly be an horrific scene. They will, as part of the relief effort, be able to provide invaluable assistance to local communities in the stricken areas.

‘As a Trust we are pleased to be able to release these staff, who have specialist training, to be part of these organised humanitarian response teams.’

Taken from Journal of Paramedic Practice, published 30 April 2015.

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