Polish firefighters are joining international rescue efforts to save lives after Turkey’s deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake. These firefighters are totally self-sufficient, as they have flown in with their own equipment, food, and water and will be involved in searches for the next seven days.
They landed early Tuesday morning in the epicenter of the crisis at Gaziantep Airport in Turkey, according to the Polish State Fire Service on Twitter.
The next 24 hours will be crucial, and the firemen will be working non-stop to attempt to save lives. They are racing against time as temperatures at night drop well below zero Celsius.
Polish firefighters are renowned for their solidarity in crisis situations. They have one of the best search and rescue units in the world and always make it available during global crisis situations.
The Polish firefighters have reacted very quickly to this crisis. In a record time of just six hours, the service was ready to fly out. They are aware that they are searching for thousands of people reported as missing in over 3,000 buildings that have collapsed.
The Polish firefighters will be assisted by troops from Poland’s NATO mission who were waiting for them at the airport. They will help with both logistics and getting the firemen to the location from which they will operate.
The HUSAR search and rescue group, which has been flown into Turkey, is composed of 76 firemen and eight trained sniffer dogs. The head of the Polish Fire Service, Andrzej Bartkowiak, noted that the service made its first international mission in 1999 to Turkey.
“History has come full circle,” he said.