February 16 2020
We were delighted to welcome Ken Cramond, Scottish Fundraising Officer for International Rescue Corps, to our meeting on Tuesday, 11th February. He gave us a very interesting illustrated talk about the rapid response squad which was formed in the 1980’s to offer search and rescue support in the aftermath of disasters such as earthquakes and floods both in the UK and abroad. On choosing the name International Rescue, they asked Gerry (Thunderbirds) Anderson if they could use it, and he not only approved but became their first patron. His son, Jamie, is now Vice-President.
With the motto ‘United to Save Life’, the team are ready to deploy at a moment’s notice to anywhere in the world – Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, for example - to help anyone in need of their assistance regardless of nationality or religion. Their specialist boats and the skills to operate them have been put to use in some of the many flood-hit areas of the UK.
The team is made up of highly trained volunteers, both men and women, with a variety of skills (and very understanding employers and families), and was one of the first organisations of its kind, though several other countries have now formed their own teams.
Ken illustrated his talk with some brilliant slides which gave us some insight into the difficult work involved in locating and rescuing survivors, often working with teams from other countries, and their work in some of the worst the UK floods.