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Leicestershire fire rescue pair tell of Haiti quake devastation


This is Leicestershire
Follow Friday, February 05, 2010

Two paramedics who helped treat more than 4,000 survivors of the Haiti disaster have told of the devastation and horrific injuries they witnessed. Mark Bryers and Kalpesh Diyar, trauma care specialists with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, were part of a nine-strong team of British physicians, paramedics and surgeons who left the UK for the disaster zone nearly two weeks ago.

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http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/Leicestershire-rescue-pair-tell-Haiti-quake-devastation/story-12069892-detail/story.html[25/12/2012 18:18:16]

Mark Bryers and Kalpesh Diyar, Haiti, quake, Leicestershire firefighters | This is Leicestershire

traumatised locals suffering broken bones and infected wounds. They also carried out surgery. Many of the people Mark, 46, and Kalpesh, 42, helped treat over the 11 days had lost limbs in the disaster. They spoke about what they had witnessed when they returned to Heathrow airport yesterday. Kalpesh said: "We arrived in the Dominican Republic and everything was fine, but as we drove into Haiti and got to the epicentre we were hit by the chaos. "Haiti is a beautiful place but there were crumbled buildings everywhere. From the moment we arrived we were dealing with streams of people every day. It was almost 24/7. "We arrived a couple of weeks after the earthquake hit, so many of the people we saw had injuries that were weeks old. They were heavily infected and some were full of flies and things like that. "We were cutting the infected parts away and trying to clean everyone up. There were some unpleasant sights. "We were trying to provide first-class medical care but we were operating in tents. "We weren't completely shocked because we had seen news reports before we flew out there, but it was still hectic compared to the surroundings we're used to." Mark and Kalpesh also experienced a number of aftershocks. "We were quite lucky because we were driving when the main aftershock happened," said Mark. "We missed the majority of it. "It took down a few of the buildings that were just about still standing. But the people didn't seemed too fazed by it. They got on with things." He described Haiti as being "like a war zone but without the conflict". "Homes were just piles of rubble," said Mark. "People were being driven in truckloads to the side of the road at night so they could go to sleep. They weren't staying in buildings in case they collapsed. "But the spirit of the locals was brilliant. There was a barbers that had been demolished by the earthquake so the guy took a stool out on to the streets and cut people's hair on the pavement. "They are tough, resilient people" Both men, part of Leicestershire's International Search and Rescue Team, were in Haiti with Humanity First. They said they could not wait to get back to their families today. Kalpesh, from Birstall, planned to arrive home before his two girls, aged five and seven, arrived from school. He said he had missed them, his 20-month-old son and his wife "a lot". Mark lives in Melton with his sons, aged 15 and 16, who have been looked after by his friends during his absence.

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http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/Leicestershire-rescue-pair-tell-Haiti-quake-devastation/story-12069892-detail/story.html[25/12/2012 18:18:16]