Hampshire and Isle of Wight team supporting rescue efforts in Morocco following earthquake

Five specialist firefighters from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service have been deployed to Morocco following Friday night’s devastating earthquake. 

MicrosoftTeams image (33)


12/09/2023 12:19pm


Hampshire & Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service

They are part of a team of 60 UK search and rescue specialists deployed by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, who have arrived in Morocco, along with specialist equipment and four search dogs.

The UK International Search and Rescue (UKISAR) team is made up of firefighters and staff from 14 fire and rescue services from across the country.

MicrosoftTeams image (35)

The Hampshire team will be managing base operations for the UK firefighting personnel in Morocco, ensuring the welfare and safety of those involved in the search and rescue operations during this vital time.

The team is self-sufficient upon arrival providing its own food, water, shelter, sanitation, communications and all necessary equipment.

Station Manager Simon Forster provided an update on the teams work earlier this week:

MicrosoftTeams image (9)

Chief Fire Officer at HIWFRS, Neil Odin said:

“The devastation caused by this earthquake has been heartbreaking to see and our thoughts are with all those affected.  Having dedicated, specialist, highly skilled firefighters, who can respond to a disaster of this nature and scale at a moment’s notice has meant that we are able to be part of the UK response during this vital time.”

Our USAR team have formed part of the ISAR response to recent incidents such as the earthquake in Turkey and the building collapse in Jersey.

The HIWFRS team has set up the Base of Operations in Amizmiz.

UKISAR is part of the National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) National Resilience Work and is on permanent standby to mobilise and assist when requested by disaster-affected countries.

The UKISAR team responds primarily to overseas urban search and rescue emergencies on behalf of the UK.

Any UKISAR team deployed is self-sufficient upon arrival and provides its own food, water, shelter, sanitation, communications and all necessary equipment to undertake search and rescue operations for up to 14 days. This is to ensure no additional burden is placed upon a country already suffering demands on its resources following a sudden onset disaster.

MicrosoftTeams image (12)

National Fire Chiefs Council Chair, Mark Hardingham, said:

“The thoughts of the UK’s fire and rescue services are with all those affected by the devastating earthquake in Morocco.

“A team of specially trained firefighters and medics from the UK has been deployed to assist following a request from the Moroccan government to the British government.

“They will be providing specialist technical support where it is needed most to save lives and support local emergency service teams”.

Sign up to receive our latest information to your email