GREECE/AUSTRALIA – Christmas may have come early for Australian firefighters.
A particularly significant delivery of four Erickson S-64 Air-Crane helicopters from Greece arrived on Saturday.
The special helicopters were shipped from the main Port in Athens, Piraeus, and arrived in the Down Under city of Geelong on Saturday night, just in time for the emerging bushfire season.
The announcement was issued via Richard Marles, MP on Facebook:
“An important delivery was made to the Port of Geelong last night, they’ve sailed all the way from Greece.
These four S-64 Air-Crane helicopters arrived just in time for their Australian summer rotation – they’ll be up in the air, supporting emergency response crews on the ground right across the country.
We can’t afford a repeat of last summers bushfires, these helicopters are important, but we should also have our own dedicated Australian aerial fire fighting a fleet of aircraft.
The priority needs to be our hardworking firefighters and keeping Australians safe year-round.”
Richard is an outspoken critic on the lack of funding from the Australian Government on the very critical shortages of firefighters and firefighting equipment.
According to Fire Aviation Australia, The first of the six Erickson Air-Crane helicopters arrived at Sydney airport on October 12.
‘Gypsy Lady’ was unloaded from an Antonov 124-100 air carrier after spending the summer fighting fires in Greece.
It has since been reassembled and flown to the Sydney suburb of Bankstown where it began its mandatory availability period on November 1.
The remaining five helicopters have since arrived, including the four from Saturday.
Australia’s Bushfire seasons are famously catastrophic, often making news worldwide.
Locals got their first taste of what may be another terrifying bushfire season this weekend, with a record-breaking heatwave sweeping across most of the southeastern and eastern parts of the Australia.
The air felt like a sauna, only very windy.
Several fires also broke out in Sydney’s west, with firefighters battling to get them under control until a southerly change on Sunday evening sent temperatures plummeting, aiding firefighting efforts.