Hampshire firefighter deploys to Bangladesh

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A FIREFIGHTER from Hampshire has been flown out to Bangladesh as part of a British effort to combat a deadly outbreak of diphtheria.

Simon Forster, watch manager of the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, is one of five firefighters who will be working with doctors and nurses in a bid to save thousands of lives in the impoverished country.

The dad-of-two from Farnborough will be part of a 40-strong team.

The 44-year-old will be working through UK International Search and Rescue (ISAR) as part of the UK’s Emergency Medical Team (EMT) after it was requested by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Government of Bangladesh.

This is the first ever deployment of the UK’s EMT since it was certified by WHO in 2016.

Simon said: ‘You join the fire service because you want to help people when something like this happens.

‘It is hard to know what the conditions will be like, so it is best to keep an open mind.

‘We will be working to stop the spread of this deadly virus and treat those who have it.’