The EU’s Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, told Euronews that catastrophes and natural disasters “have no borders”.
“Definitely through RescEU we can improve ourselves and we can increase our effective and efficient way to deal with natural disasters.”
Almost 100 vehicles, one helicopter, two Canadairs and around 300 firefighters from seven European countries took part in the four-day exercise, known as CRES-MODEX 2019.
The drill was organised to train EU teams in a realistic environment and get them ready for international missions.
It involved a scenario where simultaneous fires were burning across the island, similar to what Portugal and Greece have experienced.
Victor Fernandez from Spain’s emergency response team said the key aim of the exercise was co-operation.
He told Aid Zone: “Making different teams, from different countries and different languages, work together with the same goal requires a methodology. This exercise allows us to improve the way we cooperate so that we can be much more efficient when the situation becomes real.”
The exercise was not about how to put out a fire, but how to work on strategy, planning tactics and managing international teams in unfamiliar territory.