Following the recent announcement issued by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) to express its great sadness for the tragic losses suffered by so many families and individuals in the recent catastrophic fires, the SNF’s Board of Directors has decided to support once more the work of the Hellenic Fire Department with a €25 million grant, in order to contribute to the difficult work of the men and women of the Fire Department fighting for the protection of the country’s residents and its natural resources.
 
The grant will cover the maintenance and the potential procurement of equipment for the Hellenic Fire Department, as well as training programs, aiming to contribute towards the prevention of and immediate response to emergency situations.
 
Since the beginning of its grantmaking activity in 1996, the SNF has supported the Hellenic Fire Department through a series of grants totaling more than €19 million. Among these, during the last 20 years, the SNF has provided a Super Puma helicopter, which was heavily used in combating the recent catastrophic fires, 15 vehicles to cover the Department’s needs and has funded the construction and operation of a training center for the Fire Department’s Disaster Relief Team. The SNF has also supported the work of volunteer firefighters in the islands of Cephalonia and Samos. Furthermore, the SNF has previously supported firefighter education by funding a multi-year training program in forest fire prevention, in collaboration with the British Columbia Fire Service in Canada. Upon their return, program participants were able to train their colleagues in Greece.
 
Through this grant initiative, the SNF hopes it can contribute towards the response to a grave national matter—one that transcends politics— in a manner that unites the country’s leading forces against current and widespread polarisation. 
 
In line with the SNF’s commitment to adhere to full transparency in its grantmaking activities, the background of the discussions that preceded the SNF’s decision to proceed with this grant follows:
 
As a philanthropic organisation, the SNF cannot and does not seek to replace the work of the State. Rather, the SNF strives, to the best of its abilities, to contribute towards it.
 
According to the SNF Co- President, Mr. Andreas Dracopoulos, “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. The new grant follows a series of previous grants to the Fire Department, as well as other organisations, 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.”