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Coalville cadets learn about Christchurch Earthquake Rescue

Article posted: May 02, 2011 by Flt Lt Rayson-Flynn

Last week firefighter Chris Rollestone visited 1188 (Coalville) Squadron Air Training Corps to tell the cadets about his visit to New Zealand following the recent earthquake.

Building before Quake

Chris Rollestone, a former air cadet himself is a full time firefighter based in Leicester and also works in the UK Fire Services Search and Rescue Team (UKFSSART), which provides international search and rescue services 24 hours a day 365 days of the year.

It provides specialist advice, canine search teams, specialist equipment and complete operation-ready teams, that are self sufficient for 14 days.

Firefighters at work

Sixty two firefighters from the UK went out to New Zealand in the rescue team, 7 of which were from Leicestershire. The earthquake measured 6.3 on the Richter Scale and caused extensive damage in Christchurch.

Chris told the cadets about searching through the remains of the Pine Gould Corporation Building. The four storey 1960s office building which “pancaked” inwards around the lift shaft.They searched the building looking for casualties, a difficult task when the building is unstable and after shocks were still happening. They used lasers fixed on a static point to detect if the building was moving whilst searching. The team recovered 13 casualties.

Flying Officer Rebekah Harrison RAF VR(T) said “It was really interesting to learn about the painstaking task of the rescue mission, hopefully it will have inspired the cadets to think about their future careers too”

Firefighters with squadron

Fg Off R Harrison RAFVR (T)