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Fire Brigades Union donates 10k to Syria and Turkey earthquake appeal

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The Firefighters100 fund, which was set up and run by the Fire Brigades Union, has made a £10,000 donation to the Syria and Turkey earthquake fund to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by the disaster.

Dozens of UK firefighters, including them FBU members have travelled to the affected area in recent weeks with UK International Search and Rescue (UK ISAR).

Tracy Doyle, a firefighter and FBU activist, was deployed to Hatay in Turkey as part of a 77-person team. Shortly after returning, Doyle reported to FBU members on her work searching and locating casualties in the rubble of the disaster, and urged her fellow firefighters to support aid initiatives in the region providing medical treatment, shelter, food and clean water.

As well as crowdfunding for the Disaster Emergency Committee appeal, the FBU has now backed up its international solidarity work with this substantial donation from its’ Lottery fund.  

Speaking of her work, Tracy Doyle said: “Seeing a whole city razed to the ground – homes gone, rubble everywhere – was overwhelming. Even harder to take in was the impact on the survivors. People were sleeping in the streets, huddled around fires to keep warm as temperatures dropped below freezing. The only items they had were the clothes on their back. It broke my heart when people would approach us and ask us to remove their wives, husbands, and children from the rubble. The image of body bags in rows lining the streets will never leave me.

“Being a firefighter is about solidarity and humanitarianism. We do everything we can to help people – it doesn’t matter where they’re from, or where they are.”

‘Solidarity is crucial’

Speaking about the donation FBU National Officer Tam McFarlane, said: “As firefighters and trade unionists, humanitarianism and solidarity is crucial to everything we do. This is a disaster that has devasted thousands of lives and the FBU were determined to assist. The Firefighters100 fund, funded by the weekly Firefighters100 lottery, was set up to support people affected by fire or disaster, especially where there is a particular need for the support of skilled fire and rescue intervention, and we wanted to respond to these devastating events.

“The work of Tracy and her firefighting colleagues has been inspirational and is in the finest traditions of our service and our union. We hope this £10,000 donation assists those in need and we call on all members and supporters to assist where they can and support the Disasters Emergency Committee.”

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