Strengthening forest fire protection volunteers and ''building'' a shield for our forests

Strengthening forest fire protection volunteers and ''building'' a shield for our forests
14 Sep '22

NPF Desmos, WWF Greece and HIGGS are launching an action to actively suppport forest fire protection volunteers, who operate on the front line to protect our forests.


''Protovoulia Pnois'', the revitalising initiative for the protection of our forests, currently implemented by NPF Desmos, WWF Greece and HIGGS (Higher Incubator Giving Growth & Sustainability) with the support of the Athina I. Martinou Foundation, the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation and the National Bank of Greece, aims at training, strengthening and supporting forest firefighter teams. In the framework of the Support Programme for Voluntary Forest Firefighter Teams (2022-2024), a first round of training workshops has been completed, with the participation of 53 volunteer groups from various regions across Greece. Moreover, following careful assessment, 21 volunteer teams were selected as the first teams to receive support in terms of equipment.

In the context of this initiative, WWF Greece followed a well-tested methodology, using questionnaires, personal interviews and 24 field visits, in order to understand the scope of the volunteer groups’ activity and the difficulties they may face in areas that are hard to reach, as well as to assess their needs in terms of equipment. On the basis of specific evaluation criteria, 21 out of a total of 50 groups were prioritised for the purposes of receiving high-quality equipment.

In particular, the following teams were selected to receive immediate support:

  • Salakos Volunteer Disaster Response Team (Rhodes)
  • Kokkari SOS Volunteer Fire Team (Samos)
  • ‘KYLLINIOS ADONIS’ forest protection association (Corinthia)
  • Volunteer teams of Schimatari Volunteer Forces (Boeotia)
  • Volunteer Firefighters Club of Pythagorio (Samos)
  • Club of Greek Commandos of the Municipality of Preveza (Preveza)
  • Voluntary Environmental Protection Team of Pylaros (Kefalonia)
  • Voluntary Association for the Protection of Flora and Fauna of Keri (Zakynthos)
  • Cultural Association of Agala (Zakynthos)
  • Chios Voluntary Action Team – OMIKRON (Chios)
  • Firefighing-Emergencies Volunteer Team of Eleios-Pronnoi (Kefalonia)
  • Hellenic Rescue Team – Western Cyclades branch (Paros)
  • Corinth Forest Firefighting Association (Corinthia)
  • Association of Lefktro, Mani, for nature and local culture – GAIA (Messinia)
  • Association of Volunteer Firefighters of Paleokastro, Samos (Samos)
  • EDNY Volunteers – Forest Fire Protection Team of the Southern Part of Mt. Hymettus (Attica)
  • Forest Protection and Forest Firefighting Association of the Municipality of Ionia, Chios (Chios)
  • Voluntary Civil Protection Organisation of the Association of Three Monasteries Residents of Rethymno (Crete)
  • Association of Volunteer Forest Firefighters and Rescuers of Elymnia (Evia)
  • Association of Volunteer Firefighters of Agios Kirikos (Ikaria)
  • ‘TALOS’ Athletic Mountaineering and Cultural Club of Agios Nikolaos / Rescue Team of Agios Nikolaos, Crete (Crete)

The second phase of the project, which has already commenced, will see a further 29 volunteer groups receiving support in the form of equipment allowing them to keep doing their invaluable work.

Voluntary forest fire protection groups are constantly on the front line of forest fires, making a key contribution to the work of the competent State authorities. It is therefore imperative that volunteers be provided with essential supplies, equipment and training so as to continue to be a crucial link in the national forest fire protection system.