Swedish search and rescue team returns home
The Swedish search and rescue team who flew to Türkiye on 9 February is now (16 February) back on Swedish soil. The force, which consisted of personnel with search dogs has contributed to the work of finding people trapped in the ruined buildings.
Today, the team who stayed in Türkiye for seven days, landed in Sweden. The search group consisted of dogs with their handlers and healthcare resources. The team's main mission was to find and free trapped people and transport them out of the ruins. The operation has been led by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency. The Swedish Armed Forces has provided the operation with medical care, dog search teams and equipment.
- Türkiye requested search and rescue teams and we were able to create a resource that previously did not exist in less than a day. The result is a good example of how civilian and military resources complement each other to achieve the desired effect, says Nils Vaernholt, Head of Unit for Civil Protection.
Saved people from the ruins
By the time the team arrived, search and rescue operations were already in full swing. The mission was to provide additional resources to support or replace the teams that had already worked extremely hard in difficult conditions. The Swedish team was able to start directly and, together with other teams, continue the important work of finding survivors.
During its seven days in Türkiye, the group contributed to rescuing five people from the ruins and also located people who had been killed.
- We have experienced good collaboration with international rescue forces and local actors in the intervention area. This has meant that we have been able to use our unique and in-demand resource in the right place at the right time, says Roger Valberg, who was Operations Manager for the mission.
Efforts continue with a focus on support for the population
This input is part of Sweden's combined support for post-earthquake Türkiye. Initially, the work to find survivors is the most important. Parallel with that, extensive support is also launched for those who have survived but lack somewhere to live etc. This work is underway and the Agency is one of many actors who support local authorities and international organizations in Türkiye in this phase as well. Extensive efforts are also underway in Syria to support the population, and the Agency is active in collaboration with, primarily, international organizations.