Polish State Fire Service firefighters left Poland on Wednesday night. The crew includes 39 search group rescuers, four chemical rescuers and four rescue dogs.
Chief Brigade Manager of the State Fire Service, Andrzej Bartkowiak underlined that the people who were sent were “the best of the best.”
He added that the Polish fire brigade will be self-sufficient in Lebanon and will not put any strain on the country’s resources and finances – the firemen are ready to work for seven days non-stop.
Bartkowiak said that if the need arises, the firefighters will be swapped out, as a high-alert team must also be ready for action in Poland itself.
He explained that the main mission of the Polish firefighters will be to search for and rescue people harmed or lost due to the explosion.
Polscy strażacy wylecą wieczorem do Libanu z misją ratowniczą. pic.twitter.com/cwppNXzn3e
— Straż Pożarna (@KGPSP) August 5, 2020
“The scale of destruction is huge in that city, so it will be very difficult to estimate how many people are left in danger zones. We have sent a very experienced crew with the best trained rescue dogs, so I think we will be very helpful,” the Chief Brigade Manager stated.
He also emphasized that this is the first time in the history of the Polish State Fire Service that a group of chemists is travelling outside of Poland to help in a rescue mission. Bartkowiak explained that the reason for sending the chemists is that the explosion was an ammonium nitrate one and some of the material may still not have exploded.
The Polish support is also meant to possibly advise the local authorities on how to deal with the situation.
Apart from human resources, the firefighters will also bring specialized equipment with them, include geophones and other tools which will help locate and rescue victims.
Title image: Lebanese soldiers search for survivors after a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, AP.