SNF Awards $29.3 Million to Hellenic Fire Service

SNF Awards $29.3 Million to Hellenic Fire Service

In the wake of catastrophic forest fires that raged for days just east of Athens, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has announced a €25 million ($29.3 million) grant to the Hellenic Fire Service.

The grant will cover the maintenance and procurement of equipment for the national fire service, as well as fire emergency response and prevention and training programs. Since 1996, when the foundation was launched, SNF has supported the fire service through gifts and grants totaling more than €19 million ($22.2 million), including the donation of a Super Puma helicopter that was used extensively to combat the recent fires, fifteen vehicles, and the construction and operation of a training center for the service's disaster relief team.

SNF also has supported the work of volunteer firefighters on the islands of Cephalonia and Samos and previously supported firefighter education in Greece in collaboration with the British Columbia Fire Service in Canada.

"Our decision to support the men and women of the Hellenic Fire Department in their important work comes on the heels of a national tragedy that we all wish the country does not go through again," said SNF co-president Andreas Dracopoulos. "The new grant follows a series of previous grants to the fire department, as well as other organizations, whose work has at its core the importance of prevention and timely response to emergency events. The fact that the new SNF grant is based, in essence and in principle, on political and social consensus holds a special meaning for us as citizens. Disaster thrives in polarization. Our hope, our only hope, ultimately lies in our humanity."