History of ISAR
In 1993 the first Disaster Response Team (DRT) was set up within Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service and was created to provide a response to any major disaster that may have occurred whether in the UK or overseas.
This type of team was a fairly new concept for the UK Fire Service and the Leicestershire team was made up of a happy band of volunteers who worked hard to raise both their own skill levels and some money to help buy the necessary kit.
As it became apparent that other Fire Services around the country were doing similar things, a national approach was developed and the United Kingdom Fire Service’s Search and Rescue Team (UKFSSART “uck-sart”) was born. This nationally coordinated team continued to develop over the years and became the UK’s interim response for Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) incidents following the 9/11 attacks.
The coordination of the UK Government’s response to overseas disasters is the remit of the Department for International Development (DFID) and they have developed a system to bring together the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that would respond to such disasters and the Fire Service Teams into one large team. This new team is known as the United Kingdom International Search and Rescue Team (UK ISAR).
(Extract from CallOut Magazine Vol. 5 Issue 2, June 2009 by Andy Hartley, Technical Rescue, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service)
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