The training of the first Greek forest commandos begins in the USA

18 October 2021

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GREECE – The process of creating a forest command body, with 500 participants, which is scheduled to be at the disposal of the Fire Brigade next summer, while the country will be a pilot program of Europe, has entered the implementation phase by the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection. for the operation of a joint European Body for immediate response to forest fires, following agreements reached in recent meetings by the Minister, Christos Stylianidis.

The team of forest commandos, which is “run” mainly by Undersecretary Evangelos Tournas, will operate on American firefighting standards. In this context, during a recent visit to Washington of the director of International Relations of the ministry, Spyros Georgiou, it was decided to train a group of PS officers in the USA, who will then train in Greece initially 50 forest firefighters, while special trainers will come to the United States. our country for the same purpose.

The forest commandos will be installed in 6 areas of Greece (Attica, Thessaloniki, Patras, Ioannina, Lamia, Crete), without this meaning that their responsibility will be only there, but they will be transported where they are needed. Their work will be “preventive” and with special tasks, and they will go where they should and with the means at their disposal, which will be optics, fire extinguishers, drones for surveillance and other state-of-the-art equipment. They will also be responsible for dealing with the fire with fire (fire), know-how of the Fire Brigade, but can not be used because there is no legal framework – something that the leadership of the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection wants.

The forest commandos will essentially act as precursors for the rest of the forces, clearing in front of the fire, or parachuting behind the fire to create zones and carry out difficult missions.

The ministry’s plan is for the forest commandos to be available in full in the summer, if that is possible. They will be called “Special Units of Forest Enterprises”, which will consist of a total of 60 scientists, foresters and foresters and 440 firefighters of multiple operational duties. However, because this is not very easy, as it requires very special and good training, Mr. Stylianidis promoted the plan to create a European Forest Command Corps, which will move from country to country where there is a need.

The creation of this House was welcomed by all Europeans, following the recent experience of the great summer fires in our country, and the impeccable way in which the aid that came through the European Civil Protection Mechanism and the work it provided, despite the fact that they came from many countries and with different philosophy or experience in forest firefighting.

Based on this “experiment” and the data, it was decided to establish in the summer in Greece a joint European team of forest firefighters, both from the countries of the South and from Central and Northern Europe.

The rationale is that “no one can deal with the effects of the climate crisis alone”, which is why it is considered crucial to have permanent European cooperation and the creation of a team that will be constantly on hand and go immediately where needed, without the time-consuming the request for assistance process and the accompanying bureaucracy.

According to the same Civil Protection sources, the Americans have also shown great interest in the issue of Civil Protection, especially for the establishment of a ministry that combines management with the climate crisis – which is why they included it in the 3rd round of the political dialogue with the Greece Civil Protection, while they have requested information from our country in specific areas of dealing with the effects of climate change.

Source: RES-EAP

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