Earthquakes - France steps up rescue efforts in Turkey and deploys an emergency service field hospital (10 February 2023)


Following the double earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria on 6 February, France is increasing even further its efforts to assist the population affected, at President Macron’s request. Under the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism, it will deploy a high-capacity EMT2 (Emergency Medical Team Level 2) field hospital in Adiyaman Province.

The emergency services rapid medical intervention unit (ESCRIM) will be deployed in Turkey alongside local rescue forces to help treat people injured by the earthquakes and to support hospitals that have been damaged. With a surface area of 1,000 square metres, ESCRIM has two operating theatres and can accommodate up to 100 patients a day.

To deploy this autonomous hospital structure, 87 members of staff will be mobilized: 45 rescue workers from the armed forces emergency services and 42 firefighters and marine firefighters (from the fire and rescue services of the Bouches-du-Rhône, Gard, Isère, Landes, Lozère, Hautes-Pyrénées and Haut-Rhin, the Marseille naval firefighters’ battalion and Paris firefighters). These women and men include surgeons, doctors, anaesthetists, nurses, midwives, radiologists, biologists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, health auxiliaries etc. These health workers will be accompanied by a logistical team to ensure the functioning of the hospital.

An advance team from the emergency services left today for southern Turkey to organize the logistics of the deployment, in conjunction with our embassy in Ankara and the team from the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Centre deployed on the ground at the beginning of the week. The medical structure will be transported on a CMA CGM Air Cargo A330-200F made available free of charge by the CMA CGM Foundation. The medical and logistical staff who will operate the structure will be transported on a second flight chartered by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Centre.

The operation, coordinated by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Centre and the Ministry of the Interior and Overseas France’s emergency services and crisis management directorate, builds on the large-scale aid deployed by France on Monday evening, which includes two search and rescue detachments from the emergency services comprising 136 rescuers and 10 dogs.