Normandy Fire Fighters on Way to Typhoon Struck Philippines

Pompiers2Humanitarian fire fighters based in Normandy are in the Philippines to help with the aftermath of the typhoon that has killed thousands and devastated whole towns.

A week after the catastrophe struck a team of three fire fighters based in Cherbourg left the region to fly out to the disaster zone to help with getting aid to remote areas and searching buildings flattened by the wind.

The men, members of the Normandy Humanitarian Fire Fighters Association, will be in the middle of the worst hit areas by next week as part of a bigger team organised by an international fire fighters aid action group which is providing a doctor, three nurses and a team co-ordinator.

They will be taking with then 700 kilograms of drugs and survival equipment. ‘This mission is very important to establish a base for the rescue and humanitarian programme. A second departure is planned for the end of the month,’ said team co-ordinator David Pichon.

Once in Manila the team will report to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and deployed to the areas most in need of urgent help.

The association, founded in 2009 and based in Cherbourg, includes professional fire fighter and volunteer fire fighters and health professionals from Manche and Calvados.

It helps civil security services of foreign countries during disasters or emergencies. It notably intervened in Madagascar and Haiti and team members were on a follow up mission in Madagascar last month.

The association wants to send out a second team to help with the momentous task but needs funding to do so. It has launched an appeal for donations and anyone wishing to do so should contact the centre in Cherbourg on 02 33 23 40 40.

Similar groups of fire fighters are being mobilised all over France and the French Red Cross is also appealing for donations.

Typhoon Haiyan is regarded as the strongest every seen. It is only now, a week after is struck, that aid is reaching the more remote areas. Already the death toll has reached 4,000 but that is expected to rise as the fire fighters and other rescue team search buildings and other locations.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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