British firefighters are deploying urgently – at the Home Secretary’s request – to help Greece as wildfires continue to devastate parts of that country.
Teams from Merseyside, Lancashire, South Wales, London and West Midlands fire services will fly to Athens this weekend.
The National Fire Chiefs Council’s (NFCC) National Resilience team is responding to a formal request from the Home Secretary to give operational assistance to Greece.
The team of experts will be deployed alongside their Greek counterparts in tactical firefighting. Any team sent by NFCC is entirely self-sufficient; ensuring that no additional burden is placed upon a country already suffering demands on its resources when faced with the aftermath of sudden onset disasters.
I am immensely grateful to the brave firefighters for stepping forward and volunteering to help and their expertise will be invaluable in supporting the Greek emergency services.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I’ve seen first-hand this week the devastating wildfires ripping through Greece and the UK stands shoulder to shoulder with our Greek friends at this difficult time.
“I’ve asked the National Fire Chiefs Council to send out a specialist team to provide support in responding to this emergency. I am immensely grateful to the brave firefighters for stepping forward and volunteering to help and their expertise will be invaluable in supporting the Greek emergency services.”
We can offer professional and technical skills to our fire family in Greece at a time when help is needed; it is ingrained in the professional nature of FRS staff to assist.
NFCC Chair, Mark Hardingham
We are sending a team of experienced firefighters to support Greek firefighters currently battling the huge blazes.
When I visited my Greek counterparts earlier this week I saw the devastating effect the fires are having.
The UK stands with you.
— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) August 7, 2021