Scouts in Greece Support Firefighters
This is the third day this week that Scouts from Ελληνικός Προσκοπισμός (the Scouts of Greece) are actively supporting firefighters engaged in battles against devastating forest fires in mainland Greece.
Over the past couple of days several devastating forest fires broke out across Greece, with biggest one in Kalamos, in the Attica Prefecture, from where it quickly spread into neighbouring areas. An enormous forest fire kept burning for days mobilising hundreds of firefighters in a effort to protect both the forest, the residencies and the inhabitants.
Many of the firefighters have been in the frontline for several days, without rest or sleep and lacking proper food and sufficient water and other refreshments.
In an interview with a local TV station, Chief Scout Zacharias Antoniadis, explained why his association became active: "As Scouts, we are loyal to our principles to help everyone in every situation. This is why we decided to help and to support the work of the firefighters who have been engaged tirelessly in the battles against the fires. The Scouts of Greece have a long tradition of supporting the huge efforts of the firefighters dealing with forest fires. We will continue to be next to them over the next days until all fires extinguished, in accordance with our Scout values".
Within days, the Scouts set up a coordinating centre near the main zone of the forest fire and took over the responsibility of providing the firefighters with food and water. They collected large quantities of bottled water and prepared sandwiches, which they than distributed - in cooperation with the Civil Protection Service - to the women and men fighting the fires.
Visible relief and lager smiles in the faces of the firefighters were enough to encourage the Scouts to continue their service during the night.
Not without some proud, Zacharias Antoniadis comments: "So far, we have distributed more than 1500 bottles of water and in more than 1000 sandwiches and biscuits! And more is being prepared as I speak."
Text and image: Ελληνικός Προσκοπισμός (the Scouts of Greece)