Progress Update on Stavros Niarchos Foundation's €25 Million Grant to the Hellenic Fire Department
In the summer of 2018, in the wake of the devastating fires that claimed dozens of lives in Greece, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) announced a grant of €25 million to aid the Hellenic Fire Department.
Our goal was to contribute to the difficult work of firefighters who risk their lives on the front lines for the safety of their fellow citizens, and the preservation of Greece’s natural resources, and to reinforce, at the same time, the Department’s infrastructure in order to help prevent disasters of such magnitude in the future.
The update aims to inform the public on all the developments that have occurred since the announcement of the grant, in July 2018.
Following the 2018 catastrophic fires, the leadership of the Fire Department and SNF representatives met in order to identify and prioritize needs. The first meeting took place in August 2018, with the participation of SNF Co-President Andreas Dracopoulos.
In the aftermath of the first meeting, the Fire Department collaborated with regional administrations and the country’s central services in order to identify the Department’s priority needs and, by extension, the main axes of the grant. As more precisely defined in November 2018, these included the procurement of personal protective gear, vehicle equipment, and machinery, as well as the construction of an educational facility. Following further discussions and SNF input the grant included the implementation of public educational programs designed and developed by the Fire Department.
To date, there have been 24 meetings, including SNF visits to the Hellenic Fire Academy, the Firefighter School in Ptolemaida, the Fire Second Lieutenant School in Kifissia, and the Fire Station in Nea Makri, Attica.
Each of the grant’s main axes has been developing as follows...