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Firefighters from Estepona and Manilva return from Turkey

A team of three firefighters from Estepona and Manilva that were sent to Turkey to help in emergency rescues have returned

The devastating earthquakes in Southern Turkey and Northern Syria have claimed the lives of over 33,000 people, according to recent estimates.

The tragedy inspired the solidarity of the firefighters from the Malaga Provincial Firefighters Consortium (CPB) who travelled with specialised teams to assist in the search and rescue of survivors buried in the rubble.

Intense search effort

After five days of intense effort, the first team of three firefighters returned to Malaga on Saturday, February 11. Five other CPB team members will remain in Turkey to provide humanitarian aid to the Syrian people. The Malaga Provincial Council reported the completion of the search and rescue mission on Friday night.

The first contingent of CPB firefighters from Malaga departed for Turkey on February 6, with a flight to Istanbul, followed by another flight to Adana. The remaining two contingents arrived on the 7th. Together with NGOs such as Bomberos Sin Fronteras, Bomberos por el Mundo, and GERCCMA, the CPB firefighters worked tirelessly alongside colleagues from other provinces. Equipped with dogs, sound equipment, and debris removal and demolition tools, they searched for survivors for five days.

At the end of the search mission, the three contingents are now returning home, with the support of Turkish Airlines, who is covering their round-trip tickets. Meanwhile, firefighters Jorge Marín and Jair Pereira will remain at the earthquake’s ground zero to provide humanitarian aid, together with Bomberos para el Mundo.

Jair Pereira described the experience on his social media this Saturday, explaining how the phase of signalling and locating people is coming to an end. He recalls that upon hearing the news of the earthquakes, they immediately established contact with embassies and consulates and set to work.

Upon arrival, the situation was chaotic, with collapsed airport buildings, but with the help of the ground staff, they began their rescue mission that same night. The Turkish military asked for their help, and the firefighters sprang into action, despite not understanding the language. They successfully rescued two people, with the second taking five hours to extract from under the wreckage of a building.

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