FIREFIGHTERS mobilised in Solihull on Tuesday ready to jet out to New Zealand to join the international search and rescue effort.
A devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit the south island around Christchurch at 11.51pm on Monday night.
Seven personnel from the West Midlands International Search and Rescue Team, led by command support officer Paul Burnham, with support from operations commander Sean Moore, met at Solihull fire station, Streetsbrook Road, where specialist search and rescue equipment is kept.
The seven local firefighters will join others from eight British authorities to make up the 63-strong UK International Search and Rescue Team (UKISAR), who will carry out command and control and heavy rescue duties.
KISAR were due to fly out to Auckland from Heathrow at 4pm on Wednesday.
The News spoke to Paul, aged 44, from Kingsbury, the day before their departure.
“We are well prepared for this,” he said.
“We were notified at about 6.30am this morning (Tuesday) to put us on standby and then at about 11am we were told we were going.
“We are self-sufficient for up to 14 days so as not to leave an impact on the indigenous environment.”