New training centre for Fire Brigade under construction in Nea Makri

Construction of a new training centre for Greece’s Fire Brigade is under way and on track towards completion, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) said on Thursday.

This new facility is being constructed on the grounds of the former US military base in Nea Makri, on the eastern coast of Attica, where 20 buildings on the 3.83-hectare (38,300 sqm) site will be entirely renovated.

According to the foundation, the new centre will include offices and indoor training spaces, living quarters and outdoor training structures. Outdoor facilities will include a training course for urban search and rescue, a live-fire building and a climbing wall for advanced specialization in rescue techniques like mountaineering and apartment-fire rescue.

SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos said that the 25-million-euro grant followed the devastating fires that ravaged Greece in 2018. “Our goal was – and remains – to contribute to the difficult work of the people at the frontlines of firefighting, strengthening both the infrastructure available to help them carry out their mission and the human resources of the Fire Corps,” he said.

The grant has already fulfilled two of its purposes, to procure protective equipment for members of the Fire Brigade and to set up training programs for firefighters, for local government officials, and for the public. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)-Hellenic Fire Corps Training Center, is the third and last part of the grant, Dracopoulos said, adding, “We are grateful to have been able to contribute to this important effort.”

Deputy Minister for Civil Protection & Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias said SNF’s grant is “an invaluable contribution toward substantially upgrading civil protection and firefighting services in our country.”

Fire Brigade Commander Lieutenant General Stefanos Kolokouris noted that “a longstanding need of the Fire Brigade is being met through the creation of a modern training center that will facilitate the Brigade’s experiential training methods.”