FIREFIGHTERS who helped to save lives in Haiti received a heroes’ welcome at Solihull Fire Station last weekend.
The International Search and Rescue (ISAR) team were dispatched earlier this month, after the nation was rocked by a massive earthquake.
Twelve of the 14-strong team arrived back in the country on Saturday morning and were congratulated for their work during the mission.
Joined by friends and family, the team attended a special reception at the Streetsbrook Road station Martin Clark, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said: “We are all immensely proud of the work carried out by our search and rescue team.
“A tragedy like this presents a tough environment to work in and our team has great experience of working in challenging conditions.
“We are pleased that the West Midlands Fire Service personnel have been able to assist in Haiti but are all now very glad that they are home safe and well.”
Joined by colleagues from around the world, the West Midlands team battled to save survivors who were trapped beneath the rubble. Among those to be rescued was two-year-old Mia Charlet, who miraculously survived under the debris for three days. Lee Ivory, from Bickenhill Fire Station, said: “I heard this little voice. You feel so anxious when there’s someone there and you’ve got to get them out.
“We hadn’t got all of our tools with us so we just used our hands, shifting plastic and concrete out of the way. Then behind a door we found this small head, in a space of about eight inches.”
Although the search for survivors was called off on Saturday, the situation remains desperate in the Caribbean country. In Solihull a number of fund raisers have already been organised and this week Meriden MP Caroline Spelman urged people to donate to the Haiti Appeal.
“Watching the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti unfold daily on our television shows us the reality for so many Haitians of having no homes, no food or water and in many cases, no longer some members of their families,” she said.
If you’d like to help call 0370 60 60 900 or visit www.dec.org.uk.