Nepal: Doctor flies out as rescue team stays home

The aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Nepal
The aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Nepal

Grangemouth’s International Rescue Corps was disappointed it was unable to help authorities in the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal.

However, a local obstetrics consultant is now in Kathmandu, assisting medical teams treating the thousands of people injured in the 7.8 magnitude quake which struck the area on Saturday.

Doctor Paul Holmes, who works at Larbert’s Forth Valley Royal Hospital, flew out to the country on Tuesday night as part of an aid mission organised by the Department of International Development and Save the Children.

Grangemouth’s International Rescue Corps (IRC) has been lending its dedication and expertise to search and recovery efforts at natural and man made disasters around the world for over 30 years, including earthquakes in Indonesia (2009), China (2008) and Pakistan (2005).

Unfortunately the organisation’s current circumstances made travelling to Nepal an impossibility this week.

A spokesperson for the corps said: “It would have been a bit of struggle for us financially and we are going through organisational change and restructuring at the moment with our corps director Willie McMartin retiring.

“Due to funding and availability of members, we were unable to help on this occasion.”

Mr McMartin, a founding member of IRC and the inspirational driving force behind the organisation, is battling cancer at the moment.

IRC may not have made it out to Nepal, but six members of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have flown to the country, where the death toll has risen to over 5000.

Chief fire officer Alasdair Hay said: “We are proud to have highly professional firefighters willing and able to help and support the Nepalese people.

“Our thoughts are clearly with the thousands of people affected by this terrible disaster.”