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An enhanced fleet of vehicles is available to the Hellenic Fire Service for the latter to carry out its work and cover its operational needs during the current fire season, thanks to a significant donation to the Ministry for Climate Crisis and Civil Protection on the part of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, consisting in the rental of 23 personnel transport vehicles.
In particular, the donation by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation has made it possible for 23 additional 8-passenger personnel transport vans to be made available to the Hellenic Fire Service from 15 June to 15 September, i.e., for a broad period of three months, fully covering the core period of the fire season.
The vehicles in question were delivered to the Fire Service yesterday and are to be allocated to Fire Service Stations across the country, with emphasis being placed on high-risk areas or areas with special fire protection needs. Among other things, the vehicles are expected to contribute to the immediate transfer of EMODE forces (Special Forestry Operations Units – ‘forest commandos’) and EMAK forces (Special Disaster Response Units), as well as ground units, to the site of operations in cases of forest fire emergencies.
The Minister for Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, Mr Evangelos Tournas, made a statement thanking the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation for its generosity, which comes –in his words– in a critical period, the fire season, to support firefighters and enable them to carry out the work as efficiently as possible. A work that is becoming increasingly difficult amid the climate crisis situation.
Mr Tournas stated that:
“This is an invaluable contribution, since, in cases of forest fires, ensuring the rapid and unimpeded transfer of our firefighters to the affected site is crucial to avoid the spread of the fire and limit its impact. This is why Immediate Response, in combination with Preparedness/Readiness, is a key pillar of the new ‘doctrine’ adopted by the Ministry for Climate Change and Civil Protection to make our country more resilient against the risks connected with natural disasters.”
The Minister concluded as follows:
“In the face of this national priority, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation stands firmly on the side of Civil Protection and its main operational branch, the Fire Service. A valuable partner and supporter, the Foundation consistently supports, on the basis of numerous, and indeed significant, donations our tireless efforts to protect human life, property and the natural environment. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”
For his part, the President of the Executive Board of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, Dr. Petros Kalantzis, stated that:
“This donation forms part of a larger set of initiatives that the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation has been implementing over the last decades, aiming to upgrade the mechanisms of prevention and response to natural disasters, in the framework of emergency programmes designed in partnership with the State and civil society organisations[MO1] . We hope that our contribution to the operational needs of the Fire Service will be helpful to the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection in terms of its broader strategic and operational planning for the current fire season, aimed at improving the effectiveness of fire protection of our country”.