SCDF 68-member Operation Lionheart contigent to return home after aid mission in earthquake-hit Turkey

SCDF 68-member Operation Lionheart contigent to return home after aid mission in earthquake-hit Turkey

TURKEY —  The 68-member Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) team that had been providing aid in Turkey since 8 February, is preparing to depart later today (17 Feb).

SCDF updated in the latest Facebook post that Operation Lionheart (OLH) contingent worked with the Turkey National Medical Rescue Team, providing them with trauma equipment and medical drugs, food, thermal wear, and tents.

The team also presented the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) suit to the local residents as a gesture of our friendship and solidarity.

“USAR suit worn by the OLH contingent represents an important element of identity among us and our commitment to saving lives.”

“Although the OLH contingent is leaving Türkiye, the people of Türkiye will always be in our hearts and minds,” the post wrote.

The officers will arrive in Singapore early on Saturday morning and will be welcomed by Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam, Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, and Turkish Ambassador to Singapore Mehmet Burcin Gonenli.

Death toll nearing 44,000

On 6 February, a major 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit southeastern Turkey and north-western regions of neighbouring Syria as people slept, flattening thousands of structures.

Nearly 44,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands injured in the incident as of today (17 February).

In response to the request for humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of a massive earthquake in Turkey, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) sent an OLH contingent to assist in the disaster rescue efforts.

This is also OLH contingent 20th overseas deployment since 1990 and its first one in the European region.

SCDF had sent an advance team of 20 SCDF personnel to Kahramanmaraş to begin search and rescue operations on 8 February.

Working together with the local and Spanish rescue teams, a boy was rescued on 9 February from a bedroom in the collapsed building.

The team also successfully aided in the rescue of another man who was trapped in a semi-collapsed building on 10 February.

The entire 68-member contingent, led by Contingent Commander COL Chew Keng Tok, comprised of DART officers, operations officers, medical doctors, paramedics, search specialists with four canines, hazardous materials assessment officers and support officers.

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