Lincolnshire firefighter Dave Phillips is proud to have made a difference out in Bangladesh as the UK’s international search and rescue team celebrates its 25th anniversary.
The 51-year-old station manager, who worked at both the Lincoln and Gainsborough fire stations, is currently on a government funded secondment to the UK-ISAR’s International search and rescue team.
There are 15 services throughout the UK which support the ISAR team, including Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue, and Phillips will assist with training and development for the UK’s EMT Emergency medical team.
Phillips has a wealth of experience over a 19-year career and has been involved in several search and rescue actives around the world including deployments with international rescue efforts such as the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 and flooding in the Balkans in 2015.
The latest deployment saw Phillips go out to Bangladesh and a UK team is still out there, where a new medical centre has been constructed by local organisations to ensure thousands of people have access to life-saving diphtheria vaccinations.
The medical centre has seen the arrival of more than half a million people, who have fled their homes in neighbouring Myanmar because of civil unrest, and Phillips is proud to be making a difference to people’s lives.
“When you look at something that is happening somewhere else in the world, from a sudden onset disaster, we as a service or as an individual can make people’s lives better, you feel very proud to wear the uniform and make that difference,” said Phillips.
“It is strange to think that a few weeks ago we were enjoying Christmas at home, but just two days earlier I was in a Bangladesh refugee camp watching children playing in the streets under very difficult conditions.”