Wanted: Skilled rescue personnel
Local contractor and search and rescue team member Tony Bochene wanted to go to Turkey with about five to 10 other trained and skilled locals, to volunteer in search and rescue efforts as the country struggles in the aftermath of a disastrous earthquake.
However, after he contacted different national organizations and offered volunteer services in the form of trained medical search and rescue personnel, Bochene said he realized that most organizations were fund-raising and accepting monetary donations, but not taking any volunteers.
Bochene decided to try to do something on his own, and is attempting to assemble his own international hasty response team that is privately funded, 100 percent volunteer and as independent of the government as possible.
He said that after faxing a notice to all area fire departments and various other related agencies, he has a handful of interested and able skilled volunteers.
“Tahoe has an incredible amount of talent,” said Bochene. “There’s no reason we can’t have a team here that can respond to any type of emergency nationally or internationally.”
Skilled rescue workers in the area include experienced underwater dive teams and high and low-angle, flood, avalanche, earthquake and fire trained personnel, he said. His team would be a highly skilled, diversified, active group of volunteers that can be activated within 10 to 12 hours.
Bochene said he is not too sure how easy a non-government sponsored organization will be able to enter a country that is suffering from a large-scale disaster, such as the one in Turkey.
But he said that one Turkish consulate told him they need medical supplies and volunteer personnel.
“I want to find out first-hand how a country responds to anyone just showing up with volunteers,” said Bochene. “I’d like to take five to 10 skilled qualified people to Turkey and witness this disaster and offer our services. I want to do it for the experience and find out what it’s like to operate in another country.”
Bochene said he just needs to secure airfare and then he’s ready to go.
If any trained people such as EMT’s, firemen, paramedics, search and rescue certified personnel, are interested in volunteering for the hasty response team, call Bochene at 581-9156.
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Motorists on Interstate 80 should expect delays today as the California Department of Transportation continues work on the $2.5 million Farad rockfall project.