Turkish-Canadian Society calls for faster deployment of rescue teams

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Sina Kutluay, a member of the Turkish-Canadian Society, says his group is calling for a change in the way Canada deploys rescue crews to international disasters after only one team deployed to Turkey.

He says the group was disheartened that the Burnaby Urban Search and Rescue team from British Columbia, which self-deployed last week, will remain the only Canadian crew in the quake zone, as the Vancouver consulate said a deadline for others to participate had expired.

The team made headlines Friday after footage from the CBC showed members being thanked and embraced by Turkish colleagues on the scene, moments after the dust-covered woman was taken to an ambulance in the town of Adiyaman.

It said in a Facebook post Saturday that the crew remains on the ground in the southeastern town, “looking for victims still trapped in collapsed homes.”

Kutluay says he is very grateful to the team for their work because “every life matters.”

Canadian federal authorities had not given an official go-ahead to any rescue teams since Monday’s quake, which has killed many thousands, but has sent an assessment team and committed $10 million to relief efforts.