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International Rescue Corps: Support to Stirling Council’s Severe Weather Response

What was the issue that made you start the response?

In May 2011, severe weather and strong winds felled a large number of trees in theStirlingarea, creating serious health and safety hazards for both vehicles users and pedestrians. Stirling Council emergency planning response called out International Rescue Corps to assist in the removal of fallen trees and to improve the safety of public areas.

Who was involved and what did they do?

Volunteers from International Rescue worked for around five hours removing fallen trees and other debris from roundabouts, four miles of road, and the entrance toBannockburnschool, in order to make those areas safe for use.

What worked well about the response?

Excellent communication channels were created between IRC and Stirling Council, and the IRC volunteers were able to apply the skills they had learned in urban search and rescue techniques, to cut down and remove trees in a safe, controlled manner.

What did you learn during the response?

As IRC becomes more and more involved in such incidents in UK, the Corps is required to procure and purchase more specialised equipment, such as quick sharpen chain saws which are fitted to existing equipment.

What made it work?

The ability of the IRC volunteers to respond quickly and the determination of those members to push their normal limits, often working in dangerous situations.