Freedom News

Rouvikonas volunteers battle Greek fires

An update from Rouvikonas who step up where the state fails:

Since noon of Monday 18 July, the Rouvikonas Volunteer Firefighters Group, along with the fire truck of the organisation, was at the front of the fire that broke out in Kallithea Loutraki and the wider area.

The comrades rushed to the scene and attempted to communicate and cooperate with other volunteers.

As with the fires that started yesterday in Kouvaras and Dervenochoria, in Loutraki, we are witnessing the magical Greek phenomenon. In a country where we all know that large-scale fires will break out during the summer period, the Greek state confirms its incompetence with every fire. Above all, it confirms its conscious indifference to supporting a serious fire prevention plan and strengthening fire-fighting structures; both by purchasing equipment and vehicles, and recruiting more firefighters – who fight with meagre resources every year in an unequal battle. Yes, this is a natural phenomenon that can very easily reach uncontrollable and catastrophic proportions. Still, the deliberate degradation and neglect of fire protection by the state, and at the same time, the attack on natural landscapes by capital, are, as a result, becoming a significant problem.

There would be money to support fire protection if the government did not constantly spend it on police recruitment, and military equipment, and if it did not go into the pockets of the bourgeois political staff and their capitalist collaborators.

Therefore, we are not standing idly by. We organise and respond with our own structures and with our own efforts and means – from the grassroots for the grassroots.

In this context of economic and class solidarity, our comrades were at the front of the area of Loutraki yesterday to help. Among everything else, our crew managed to save two houses while they were in the locality of the stream of Agios Haralambos. At some point, however, the fire surrounded both our vehicle and the vehicles of other volunteers – who left the scene to avoid getting trapped, leaving behind two hoses, which we will need to replace immediately. The hoses required are 25-metre, one-inch hoses with their cones.

We will announce any more equipment that is needed in due course. Any solidarity offer is welcome. What we can reveal for now, however, is that we are in the process of finding a second farm vehicle to be equipped as a fire truck. The volunteers are there, as is the will. Our project is just beginning, and we still have a long way to go.

But it is working, and our volunteers remain ever-vigilant. With participation, organisation and goodwill, anything can be done.


~ Rouvikonas

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