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"Thank you for doing your best": Rhodes girl's drawing of Slovak firefighters

"Thank you for doing your best fighting into the fires," reads the drawing that a girl from Rhodes gave to the mission of Slovak firefighters who were recently on the island to fight wildfires.

The little girl and her mother approached the deputy head of the mission, Jozef Húšek, while they were supplying a fire truck with water, and offered him the drawing, expressing her gratitude for their help in dealing with the forest fires that hit Rhodes. "We were filling another vehicle with water from a source that was quite far away. The young girl along with her mom approached us and gave us this beautiful picture. The girl said to us, thank you very much for everything you do for us. We appreciate this so much" Jozef Húšek from the ground forest firefighting unit of the Slovak Fire Service describes to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

"This gift will be hung on the wall of our fire station and will remind us how difficult the situation was for the residents of Rhodes. We are happy to help the Greek firefighters and the Greek people through the European Civil Protection Mechanism. I would like to thank every firefighter for their good work and cooperation and wish them to stay safe and take care," he emphasizes.

The drawing

drawing Rhodes

From July 21 to 28, 31 Slovak firefighters together with 15 vehicles were in Rhodes following Greece's request to the European Civil Protection Mechanism for aerial assistance and also for the dispatch of firefighting units and firefighting vehicles to help deal with the forest fires that were ravaging the country.

This is not the first time Slovak firefighters have helped Greece as they participated in extinguishing the fires in Northern Evia in 2021.

"Fires in Greece are different compared to those in Slovakia. We already had experience from the fires in Greece in 2021 in Evia. But the fire in Rhodes was a little different. The situation was bad from the beginning, when we arrived in Rhodes, because of the strong winds that were blowing all the time, causing the fire to jump from one hill to another, but also the high temperatures that prevailed every day", he noted to AMNA.

During their stay in Rhodes they cooperated with their Greek colleagues by helping them, among other things, to supply their vehicles with water as they had a special vehicle with them. “We had with us a special vehicle that holds 21,000 liters of water, the beast, as we call it, and another that holds 9,000 liters of water. We carried water near the fire for other vehicles. If the faucet was not in good condition (poor pressure), we used the hotel swimming pools as a source of water as we have special pumps to draw water from various sources," he points out.

In Ancient Olympia since August 1, 20 Slovak firefighters

20 Slovak firefighters have taken up residence in Ancient Olympia since August 1st as part of the pre-installation program of European firefighters implemented for the second year in a row in Greece through the European Civil Protection Mechanism.

"The European Union honored us with the assignment of the political program for the pre-installation of European Firefighters in the summer of 2022. This is a preventive action that the newly established Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection embraced and adopted from the first moment, recognizing its added value. In this direction, two additional countries, France and Portugal, host European colleagues totaling 500, from 11 member states of the European Union", the Coordinator of Liaison Officers of Foreign Missions, Vassilis Bikas, underlines to AMNA.

"To the already great value of the program that proactively came to zero the distance and response time to natural disasters, I would add: 'if it is once beneficial to cooperate with colleagues, it is an ideal condition to cooperate with partners and friends at the same time,'" emphasized Mr. Bikas.

It is noted that more than 200 firefighters from six countries (Bulgaria, France, Germany, Romania, Slovakia and Malta) who are in Greece for the two months of July-August participate in the pre-installation program of the European Civil Protection Mechanism.

  • Published in Greece
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