With additional heavy-duty helicopters, new fire trucks and a strengthened state mechanism, especially the Fire Service, which is the main arm of Civil Protection, in means and personnel, the firefighting season 2020 began on Friday, May 1st.
Preparations for next summer were the subject of a meeting held today, Saturday, May 2, under the Minister of Civil Protection, Michalis Chrysochoidis, and the Deputy Minister of Civil Protection and Crisis Management, Nikos Hardalias, at the General Secretariat for Civil Protection.
“More ready than ever”
“We are more prepared than any other year,” Mr Hardalias told Mr Chrysochoidis, who presented the operational plan of the Fire Brigade and noted that the Civil Protection mechanism has been significantly strengthened, both in terms of material and technical equipment and in terms of human resources.
In particular, as Mr. Hardalias said, the mechanism is strengthened with an additional 3 heavy helicopters and new fire trucks, while 2 new air transport units of the Aegean and the Ionian, based in Samos and Araxos, are established, respectively.
84 new seasonal firefighting unts
Also, 84 new seasonal firefighting units are being established with special emphasis on areas with a high risk index and an additional 1,300 seasonal firefighters are included in the operational planning.
For his part, the Minister of Civil Protection pointed out that this aid, as well as the legislative framework passed in February 2020, are an excellent opportunity for further upgrading of both the PS and the Civil Protection mechanism in general, as well as a legacy for the future, always aiming at the protection of human life, the property of Greek citizens and the natural environment.
He also referred to the pandemic of coronavirus Covid-19 and praised the catalytic contribution of the Civil Protection and the Fire Brigade to reducing the spread of the disease. Addressing the leadership of the PS, he also stressed that the contribution of the House was extremely important in the management of the recent situation in Evros.
The meeting was attended by the Secretary General of Civil Protection, Vassilis Papageorgiou, the Deputy Secretary General of the Armed Forces, George Marios Karagiannis, the Chief of Police, Lieutenant General Stefanos Kolokouris, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Iakovios Emergency Response of GGPP, Phoebus Theodorou.
Firefighting instructions to citizens
“Because the forest can exist without man, but man without the forest can not live, it is our duty to protect by all means this natural heritage” said the headquarters of the Fire Brigade, in a statement for the new fire period and at the same time sets out a series of guidelines for citizens not to cause a fire:
- We avoid outdoor hot work, which can cause a fire (oxygen welding, use of a wheel or other tool that sparks sparks).
- We do not light outdoor barbeque barbecues during the summer months in the woods or in areas where there are dry grass and branches.
- We avoid beekeeping and do not abandon the burning waste in the open because it may ignite and cause a fire.
- Under no circumstances should we burn dry grass, twigs, reeds and rubbish in the open.
- We never throw away lit cigarettes and matches from the car window, not even when we are in the woods.
- We do not leave garbage in the forest because there is a risk of their ignition or glass bottles because they may cause a fire in dry grass through sunlight.
- We do not use sparklers in areas that are a short distance from forest areas.
- We never park our vehicle in places where there are dry grass. The car’s catalytic converter is kept superheated for a long time after the engine is turned off, making the risk of starting a fire visible.
- Keep in mind that sparks caused by the exhaust of all types of vehicles can create favorable conditions for fire.
- We always comply with the prohibitive signs of access to the forest in times of high risk.
Also, in case of fire:
We call IMMEDIATELY at the call numbers 199 or 112 and give clear information, both about the location and the exact location we are at and about the specific location where we see the fire and:
- We describe the type of vegetation that burns.
- We determine the direction of the fire.
- We inform about the intensity and the direction of the wind in the area.
Finally, it is pointed out that, for our own safety, in case of fire we follow the instructions of the competent authorities.