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Athens News Agency: News in English, 05-07-05

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] President Papoulias visits fire department operations centre

  • [01] President Papoulias visits fire department operations centre

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias paid a visit to the Fire Department's Operations Coordinating Centre (199 SEKYPS) in Halandri on Tuesday morning at 10:30, at the invitation of Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis.

    The president was received by the minister and public order ministry general secretary Leonidas Evangelidis, along with the fire department's leadership.

    Papoulias laid a wreath at a memorial for fire-fighters fallen in the line of duty and then spoke with fire department officers, thanking them on behalf of the Greek people for their work to protect the lives and property of the public.

    In his own speech, Voulgarakis noted that the fire department was the central branch of civil protection for the country and enjoyed 97 per cent acceptance in Greek society according to a recent survey.

    "The successes of the past years have been the result of longterm planning, based on cooperation, inter-branch collaboration, modern equipment and, primarily, human resources," he said, underlining that this effort had been possible due to a methodical approach, determination, discipline and sheer hard work at all levels and all ranks of the force.

    Fire Department Chief Christos Smetis briefly referred to the history of the force and its results in the past three years, which he said had been the best in the last 50 years of the fire department's operation. He noted that recent purchases of new equipment had endowed the Greek fire department with one of the strongest fire-fighting fleets in Europe.

    The president then toured the operations centre and showed particular interest in the new communications systems and the police surveillance cameras that allow fire-fighters to locate fires and monitor traffic levels on the roads, in order to reach fires more quickly and easily.

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