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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Earthquake in Turkey. What do the rescue operations of Polish firefighters look like – says the group commander

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Polish firefighters help victims of the earthquake in Turkey. By the evening of Tuesday, on the first day after arriving at the place, they managed to save three people from under the rubble. Junior brigadier Grzegorz Borowiec, commander of the HUSAR Poland group, spoke in an interview with TVN24 BIS about the situation in Besnia, where the Polish rescue team was sent. “I think it would be comparable to the earthquake in Haiti,” he described.

On Monday, a strong earthquake hit Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. The magnitude was between 7.4 and 7.8. As a result, entire blocks of flats and hospitals collapsed. Several thousand people died and tens of thousands were injured. The HUSAR Poland group flew to the affected region in Turkey on Monday eveningto participate in the search and rescue operation. These are 76 firefighters of the State Fire Service and eight trained dogs. Until Tuesday evening they managed to save three people alive from the rubble

The film with the recording of their action was posted on social media by the chief commander of the PSP, Andrzej Bartkowiak.

Rays of hope – saved people

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After the first rescued man was extracted from the rubble, TVN24 BIS was interviewed by junior brigadier Grzegorz Borowiec, commander of the HUSAR Poland group, staying in Besnia

– The first person in cooperation with rescuers from Turkey was extracted from the rubble. It has already been handed over to local authorities. He’s a man, but I don’t have any details. For us it doesn’t matter, for us the most important thing is that we managed to save this person. And so quickly that almost immediately after arrival – he emphasized.

Strong earthquake in Turkey and SyriaPAP

Difficult decisions

Borowiec told how their actions look like.

– Part of the group, a few people, was delegated to check potential places where there may still be injured people. And such buildings are prioritized by them. So every building is recognized, we’re looking for signs of living people, we prioritize them depending on whether the chances of survival are high or low. The next part of the group analyzes all this data collected by the reconnaissance group, assigns it to each building with a high priority. Then the rescue group from our HUSAR goes to the place, looks for the person and tries to get him out – he said.

>>> Read more: Can an earthquake be predicted?

Division of sectors where Polish rescuers operateTwitter/Andrzej Bartkowiak

First “rescue”, then humanitarian actions

The firefighter also spoke about his feelings about the mission in Turkey.

“What’s happening is truly shocking. I don’t remember such a large number of victims being generated so quickly. […] It’s probably comparable to the earthquake in Haiti. Certainly, the fact that it happened late at night had a big impact on the number of victims, the number of injured people. People were sleeping. It’s cold, so they stayed indoors and were surprised by the earthquake that trapped them inside the buildings, he said.

The rescuer mentioned what awaits him and his team in the coming days.

– These activities last up to a week. After a week, finding living people, especially in difficult conditions, i.e. low temperature … Well, it is practically impossible to find a living person anymore. So we end this “rescue” phase [z ang. “ratunek”], we are moving into the humanitarian phase, which will continue for months. This will be done by completely different teams. […] Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have lost their homes here. So these people have to be accommodated somewhere. Even here near us, in this base of operations, we have sanitary facilities for a sports club, and people who have lost their homes are also accommodated there – summed up Borowiec.

Location of Monday’s earthquakeUSGS

Junior Brigadier Grzegorz Borowiec on TVN24 BIS:

whole conversation

Main photo source: PAP/EPA/ERDEM SAHIN

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