Saturday, 28/3/2020 | 8:08 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Hampshire firefighter to join elite squad training foreign disaster teams

A HAMPSHIRE firefighter is part of an elite squad of firefighters which is training foreign emergency services to prepare for disasters.

Chris Roper, specialist and technical rescue team station manager, said he is keen to travel to Khorog, Tajikistan, and train fellow crews in water, rope and boat rescues and search techniques.

In recent years the country, which borders China, has seen clashes between reisdents and the military and the UK International Search and Rescue team says it will need to travel by helicopter due to the nation’s terrain.

Station manager Roper said: “I am looking forward to going and helping to pass on the skills we have acquired over the last fifteen years.

“When we leave we want to feel we have improved the country’s preparedness for any disaster and raised standards across the board.

“It is extremely gratifying to leave a country feeling that you have given the people the tools and knowledge to help protect their communities.

“It will also be interesting to see how people from other services do things as we are all always keen to find new skills and techniques we can take back to improve our own response.”

He will be joined by colleagues from West Sussex, London, Scotland, and Wales on the trek, which will run from tomorrow until September 29.

Khorog is one of the poorest areas of the country and the British Foreign Office urges tourists to be aware of civil unrest, occasional violent clashes, and the threat of terrorism.

The country itself is very mountainous, as well as being in an earthquake zone and prone to heavy flooding.

The UK International Search and Rescue Team (ISAR) will be working with development organisation Aga Khan Development Network, which works to implement improvement in parts of the developing world.

In the past, station manager Roper has trained crews in Libya, Kenya, Trinidad, Poland and Denmark.