AN Oxfordshire emergency rescue team which has saved lives in disaster zones across the world hopes to continue its life-saving work in Pakistan this summer.

In 2005, when an Earthquake devastated parts of south-east Asia, Oxford Mail readers helped raise £10,000 for the Henley-based Emergency Response Team - Search and Rescue (ERT SAR), formerly Oxfordshire Search and Rescue, to send skilled doctors and nurses and medical supplies to the area.

Now the team, made up of highly trained specialist volunteers, many with emergency services backgrounds, hopes to return.

But this time they want to teach young people in the Mansehra district of Pakistan basic medical training so they can cope by themselves should disaster strike again.

Gary Foo, ERT SAR chief and a trained paramedic, said the team has had to face horrendous scenes.

He said: "When we arrived last time we were treating up to 600 casualties a day and were greeted with some frankly frightening scenes.

advertisement "Amputations were being performed with no anaesthetic while people were still conscious and there were very few medical supplies.

"The level of care was primitive. This time we hope to take volunteers and supplies out there to essentially teach children first aid."

The curriculum will be taught over 60 hours and will prepare trainees, aged from 11 to 15, to deal with potential fire hazards, avoid the dangers of the Avian bird flu and what to do in flooding.

Mr Foo, a former police marksman, believes their training will save hundreds of lives.

He added: "There is a lot of bird culling because of bird flu in the area and there are ways this needs to be done safely and without risk of contamination.

"Also we will be doing a lot of work with the children to show them the risks of flooding.

"There have been situations where a track has become very deeply flooded but people have tried to cross the ravine on horseback. In these situations the horse has been swept away with the passenger on its back and both would have drowned."

ERT SAR has worked with the United Nations, the Department of International Development, offered support to the Sri Lankan National Police Force in the wake of the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 and has delivered life-saving medical treatment and supplies in international disasters to the US Military.

They were also on hand during the July 7 bombings in London and for last summer's floods.

Now they need to raise £3,000 to send 70 volunteers out to the region.

Mr Foo added: "We have received a lot of support in the past and some generous donations.

"It would be great if we could repeat this to be able to continue our good work this summer."

To donate to the team, visit the website