Some Burnaby firefighters, who spent the last week in earthquake-ravaged Nepal, say they know they made a difference, but much more work needs to be done.
They’re home now from the country where they helped pull survivors out of the rubble.
Brad Dairon was greeted by his wife and two young daughters at the Vancouver airport.
He says the hardest part about the rescue mission was seeing children the same age as his… suffer.
“All I could really think about was them and their parents and putting it just at a personal level, so it’s heartbreaking really, to just see the kids. I mean, but that being said, the children were so strong.”
Other returning firefighters admit they’re concerned about how ready Vancouver is for an earthquake as devastating as the one in Nepal.
More than four thousand rescue workers have travelled to Nepal since the disaster struck, but Vancouver’s HUSAR team was not among them.
Mark Pullen, the retired firefighter who coordinated the mission from Burnaby, admits it’s frustrating to sit on the sidelines… when you know you could be making a difference half a world away.
“But you can’t tie up resources by putting in so many teams. It has to still be controlled and the United Nations was doing that. There were 60 teams. There’s politics behind everything from kids’ baseball right up, so you’re not aware of really what goes on in the boardroom, sort of thing, and it’s frustrating every time there’s a disaster, for sure. There’s great guys on teams that want to get over there and help.”
Pullen adds he was a member of the HUSAR team for five years.
Meanwhile, Police in Nepal say the death toll from last weekend’s massive earthquake has climbed past 7,000.
National police officer Babu Kanji Giri said Sunday that the death toll had reached 7,040 as more bodies are found in the debris.
Some 14,123 people were injured in the April 25 quake. Of them, 6,512 are being treated in hospitals.