Delivery of new, donated fire trucks at Athens airport

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attended a ceremony for the delivery of 20 fire engines donated by the tobacco company Papastratos, held at the Fire Brigade building at Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” on Friday.

The Papastratos donation, which cost €1million in total, strengthens the Fire Department with diesel-powered, flexible cars that have the ability to quickly reach forest fires. They can also carry up to 600 litres of water.

“I attach great importance to the fact that the Fire Brigade’s fleet is equipped with vehicles that can move inside forests,” said Mitsotakis, noting that the work of Civil Protection services this year will be doubled and extremely complex.

“We can’t avoid wildfires, it is something that needs careful planning and a long term action plan. We will limit the wildfires as we did last year” Mitsotakis said.

The PM noted that “this year we are more prepared than ever” for the firefighting season, as the “112” emergency system has been put into full operation, the Fire Brigade has been redeployed to meet the needs of the territory, and there are 1,300 more seasonal firefighters this year.

He also expressed his admiration for the Fire Brigade’s aircraft pilots and engineers, stating: “I have full confidence in the ability of the Fire Brigade and faith in your courage. I personally want to reassure you that I will press for the production lines that are out of operation to restart in order to able to renew the fire brigade’s fleet of aircraft at a European level”.

Addressing the staff, the Prime Minister hailed the great courage of the men and women fighting fires, floods and other disasters, putting themselves in danger. “When others are scared, you literally fall into the fire, not because you’re not afraid, but because you’ve learned to work despite your fears. And that is very important and that is why we are all indebted to you,” he said.