Three WMAS staff head for the disaster zone in Nepal

nepal-earthquake-disaster-safety-buildings.siThree members of staff with West Midlands Ambulance Service are en-route to Nepal to assist in the humanitarian rescue operation.

It follows the powerful earthquake which measured 7.9 on the Richter Scale which hit 80 kilometres northwest of the capital Kathmandu on Saturday.

Latest estimates suggest thousands of people have died with many more still trapped. Time is of the essence in such rescue missions.

The three heading to Nepal are:

• Dr Malcom Russell – Medical Incident Officer
Dr Russell is a Medical Incident Officer with the Trust as well as a BASICS emergency doctor with Mercia Accident Rescue Service in Herefordshire. He is also Medical Director, Urban Search and Rescue Medical Team (UMT) of the UK International Search and Rescue team (UK ISAR). He flew out yesterday, Sunday, along with a team of 67 fire-fighters / medics, 4 dogs and over a tonne of heavy rescue equipment. He has experience of the Christchurch earthquake and Japanese tsunami.

• Steve Watkins – Paramedic
Stoke based Steve Watkins is a member of the S.A.R.A.I.D (Search and Rescue Assistance In Disasters) and is currently en-route to Nepal. He flew out from Heathrow yesterday.

• Simon Greenfield – HART Paramedic
As a Hazardous Area Response Team paramedic based at Oldbury, Simon is ideally placed to provide assistance as part of his training is working in confined spaces and collapsed buildings. He is going out with Humanity First Medical who provide medical teams to disasters. He’s been a part of HFM says he feels very passionate about responding as he will be able to put his skills and experience to good use in helping people in their time of need. He is due to fly out today, Monday.

Trust Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, 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.”