Witterings firefighter flies out to help after Nepalese earthquake disaster

A Hindu Nepalese woman offers prayers at Indrayani temple, that was damaged in Saturday's earthquake, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 27, 2015. A strong magnitude earthquake shook Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu valley on Saturday devastating the region and leaving tens of thousands shell-shocked and sleeping in streets. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
A Hindu Nepalese woman offers prayers at Indrayani temple, that was damaged in Saturday's earthquake, in Kathmandu, Nepal, Monday, April 27, 2015. A strong magnitude earthquake shook Nepal's capital and the densely populated Kathmandu valley on Saturday devastating the region and leaving tens of thousands shell-shocked and sleeping in streets. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A FIREFIGHTER from the Witterings is among a six-man team from West Sussex who have flown to Nepal in response to the earthquake disaster.

Matt Simmons is one of six West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service members who have been deployed to the stricken country following a massive quake which has claimed more than 2,000 people’s lives.

Saturday’s 7.9 magnitude earthquake has left an unknown number of people still trapped, and the Nepalese government has accepted an offer of assistance from the UK to support the international search and rescue effort.

The six West Sussex firefighters, who have responsibility for the UK’s logistics operation, are part of a UK team of 67 responders including search and rescue crews, four search dogs, a medical support team and hazardous materials specialists.

The West Sussex firefighters are: Adrian Kirkpatrick (Crawley Down), Matt Simmons (Wittering), Owen Marfany (Horsham), Antony Walker (Shoreham), Neil Graham (Shoreham) and Joe Sacco (Worthing).

The team flew from Stansted Airport at 9.15pm on Sunday night and are scheduled to land in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu later today.

They taken more than 11 tons of equipment with them, including search cameras, listening devices, breaking and breaching tools and jacking and lifting gear, all designed to locate and safely rescue trapped casualties.