Firefighting Practice | God's World News
Firefighting Practice
News Shorts
Posted: April 04, 2024
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    A firefighter leaves an area after lighting a smoke flare during a preparedness drill at Glyka Nera, northeastern Athens, Greece, on April 4, 2024. (AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)
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    Rescuers assist actors posing as fire evacuees. (AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)
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    A firefighter takes part in a drill. (AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)
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    A firefighter checks a drone during a drill. (AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)
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A wildfire approaches an old monastery near Athens, Greece. It could trap a group of visitors. Volunteers and firefighters race to pull people to safety. Clouds of red smoke billow. A drone buzzes overhead. It sends live video to officials. They use it to organize the rescue.

Wait a minute. This isn’t a real fire. Flares produce the smoke. The people being rescued are actors. This is a drill. Greek firefighters are practicing for fire season.

The fire season officially starts May 1. But temperatures already reached 86 degrees in late March. Large wildfires are breaking out weeks earlier than expected.

“Everything in nature is dry now and it’s very easy to catch fire. So we have to be ready to deal with it,” says official Loukia Kefalogianni.

Greece is spending more than $2 billion to fight fires. It is upgrading its fleet of water tankers. A sensor network will detect smoke in the early stages of a fire. But the new equipment won’t be delivered until next year.

The country will also get seven firefighting aircraft. Those won’t come until 2027. In the meantime, planners look for other ways to get to fires faster.

Officials will hold many more practice runs before hot summer months arrive.

“Exercises like this one today are very, very helpful,” says Christos Symiakakis. He is a deputy fire chief. “All the agencies communicate with each other and work together to get better results.”

Last summer, Greece had the worst blaze in European Union records. Fire can be very powerful. That’s why it’s so important for firefighters to be prepared. That’s also why Paul compared God to fire in his letter to the Hebrews.

Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. — Hebrews 12:28-29