Two firefighters and rescue dog join UK response to Morocco earthquake

A UK team of search and rescue specialists and four search dogs will be deployed to Morocco following an earthquake.

Morocco earthquake: Two Scottish firefighters and rescue dog join UK International Search and Rescue Team Scottish Fire and Rescue service

Two firefighters and a dog from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) have joined efforts to aid the response to the Morocco earthquake.

They will be deployed as part of the UK International Search and Rescue Team (ISAR) in Morocco through the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

The team will consist of 62 search and rescue specialists, four search dogs, rescue equipment and a medical assessment team.

K9 handler crew commander Gary Carroll and Coorie, based at Portlethen, have departed along with watch commander Gavin Brown, based in Dundee.

This will be Coorie’s first deployment since graduating from a training course provided by the National Fire Chiefs Council. The two-year-old Malinois Belgian Shephard can operate as part of the UK ISAR and can help with searches at collapsed structures.

SFRS deputy assistant chief officer Bruce Farquharson, the UK ISAR team manager in Scotland, said: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by the devasting earthquake in Morocco and upon arrival there our team will be ready to join the wider effort to help as many people as they can with their specialist skills.

“Crew commander Carroll and watch commander Brown will of course now be supported by Coorie who will be able to provide additional help to them, the UK ISAR team and the emergency services already in place in Morocco.”

Foreign secretary James Cleverly said: “The UK Government has sent immediate support to Morocco including a team of 62 search and rescue specialists and four rescue dogs to assist with the rescue effort.

“I remain in contact with Foreign Minister Bourita and offer my deepest sympathies to the people of Morocco after this tragic event.”

This marks the second time that SFRS has deployed firefighters to a disaster zone in 2023 with watch commander John Aitchison, crew commander Steven Adams and Firefighters Tony Armstrong and Keith Gauld were part of the operation in Turkey.

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

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