The rescue team of Hungarian Baptist Aid has returned home from Turkey

Author: Kim Bora Date: 2023. február 13., hétfő 11:20


The HUBA Rescue24 rescue team of Hungarian Baptist Aid has completed its mission in Antakya, Turkey. The team arrived at Liszt Ferenc Airport on Sunday morning, where they were greeted with flowers and applause by the representatives of the Turkish Embassy, along with family members, colleagues and workers of the press.

László Pavelcze, Commander of the search and rescue team, exhaustedly but proudly reported that their search dogs had identified 11 living persons, and then 7 survivors were lifted out independently or together with their Turkish helpers. Two of the survivors had to be treated by the medical team due to their very bad condition to ensure their safe transportation. The rescue of the other found living persons was carried out by the Turkish professional and volunteer groups using different techniques. The Commander stated: their options ran out by Saturday, but there was still a minimal chance of finding survivors, as there may still be buildings that collapsed in such a way that parts were hermetically sealed, so the air in them did not cool down completely. If they work carefully with the machines, miraculously, they may still be able to save more people. The specialist praised the rescue dogs and the heroic perseverance of the team members, who sometimes broke through several levels of buildings, cutting iron and concrete in order to get close to the people trapped in the ruins.

Béla Szilágyi, President of Hungarian Baptist Aid, said it was uplifting to see the group working together in the zones that were assigned to them. He recalled that the earthquake forced many survivors into very narrow places, where they had to wait in minus 7 degrees for the rescue teams to reach them, while they had to hope that the concrete above them would hold with 4 to 6 aftershocks of different strengths day after day. The head of the aid organization announced that the Baptists have so far delivered HUF 10 million in donations to the victims of the earthquake, and their next shipment will leave on Monday, this time for Syria.

Team members were:
Dr. Béla Szilágyi, President of HBAid;
László Pavelcze, HBAid's Emergency Management Director and HUBA Rescue24 group Commander;
Tibor Vincellér, rescue dog handler and technical rescuer, and his dog, Lángos;
Dr. István Papp, chief physician and technical rescuer;
Zsolt Balogh, technical rescuer;
from 'Kelet-Magyarországi Speciális Mentők' (East Hungarian Special Ambulances) Nyíregyháza;
Zoltán Sitkei, technical rescuer of ADRA Foundation;
Gábor Szabó, rescue dog handler and his dog, Gogo;
Dr. Tamás Mezősi, rescue dog handler and his dog, Trafi;
Marcel Mező, rescue dog handler and his dog, Black
from 'Kutyákkal az Életért Alapítvány' (With Dogs for Life Foundation)
Dia Pinkóczi, rescue dog handler and her dog, Kevlar from 'Mancs a kézben Egyesület' (Paw in hand Association);
Dr. Zsuzsanna Löcher, doctor and rescue dog handler and her dog, Scoty;
Erzsébet Kröpfl, rescue dog handler and her dog, Szolka;
Ágnes Kiss, rescue dog handler and her dog, Dáma
from 'Kutyák határok nélkül Alapítvány'
(Dogs without Borders Foundation)
Márk Szabó, rescue coordinator;
János Borbély, security officer and technical rescuer;
János Orbán, technical rescuer;
Péter Klupács, ambulance technician and technical rescuer;
Gábor Siklósi, paramedic.
Photos by Saci Antal


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