UK and Canadian ERTSAR Team Return From Successful Deployment to Philippines | Emergency Response Team Search and Rescue (ERTSAR) UK

UK and Canadian ERTSAR Team Return From Successful Deployment to Philippines

Typhoon Yolanda ERTSAR

British and Canadian citizens as specialist members of UN recognised disaster response team, ERT Search and Rescue deployed to areas of the Philippines in response to the disaster caused by Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda.

Our mission included:

  • Aerial reconnaissance by helicopter of remote islands with the Philippine Military.
  • Deploying to remote smaller islands hit by the typhoon only accessible by boat or helicopter.
  • Face to face medical treatments to over 500 typhoon victims.
  • Clearing debris, roads and buildings with rescue equipment such as chainsaws.
  • Fixing and restoring damaged infrastructure.
  • Performing UN assessments and coordinated missions with UN and local government.
  • Donating over $10,000 USD of medical aid including essential medicines.
  • Donating Water Purification Systems to several villages.
  • Donating two electrical generators.
  • Liaising with the local government and UN on the ground to coordinate further humanitarian aid.
  • Communicating and coordinating aid using Iridium Satellite Phones and equipment.
  • Working closely with Philippine Military and assisted by British RAF / Navy, Japan and US Military.

Led by SAR Chief Gary Foo with their team Doctor, Paramedics and Technical Rescue Team; their capability includes being able to seek out the suffering, operate remote field hospitals and disaster coordination centres, assessing damage and working closely with Military and UN assets as an official part of the coordinated response.

The team were self-sufficient and had food, water, mechanical and chemical water purification systems, rescue equipment and debris clearing facilities. Foo, also the UN coordinator for the team liaised daily with the international community via the UN on the ground, the Philippine military and local Government, providing information and resources to support the mission.









The UN and Government of the Philippines including military assets and civilian officers were absolutely instrumental in the support, coordination and transport of the team who travelled by C130 aircraft, helicopters, boats and military trucks to get where they needed to go to deliver their services and aid.

The team is highly specialised and capable; made up entirely of unpaid volunteers who donated their time and expertise to train regularly and deploy to these harsh conditions. They include Gary FOO, Virginia FOO, Dr Rocco LOMBARDI, Darren DeVOS, Deborah BISZTRICZKY, Josh FOO, Glen VILLA, Sean O’NEILL, Justin LEVINE, Amanda REGAN, Jamie READ, David JOBSON, Damian CAMERON, Steve FOX, Nick TAYLOR and Susanna TROW. Their experience includes almost every emergency service including Police, Fire and Rescue, Paramedics / EMS, Coastguard, Military (Canadian and British, (Commandos), and many deployments overseas.

SAR Chief Gary Foo said, “There was a tremendous wake of destruction on a massive scale and so many displaced and suffering Filipino people impacted by this terrible disaster. However, from the moment we landed to the moment we left the local people were so positive, grateful and hospitable despite many losing so much and they made us feel so very welcome. We did a huge amount of good for many, many, people. The UN and the Philippine government were instrumental in the success of our mission. I was also extremely proud of my team who travelled thousands of miles from two countries to work in very hot and austere, usually less than pleasant conditions, for long hours. They did so with a smile and good spirits. They were exemplary ambassadors of benevolence to all in some harsh conditions.”

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Emergency call-outs only:

+44 (0)1491 378 007

All other/general enquiries:

+44 (0)8432 891 478

ERT Search and Rescue, C/O Henley Business School, Greenlands, Oxfordshire, UK, RG9 3AU

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