A major EU civil protection exercise, EU PROMETHEUS 2014, is underway in Attica, Greece, testing cooperation and response capacities of Member States through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Teams from Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Croatia are participating, alongside the European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC).
The teams are combatting a simulated twin disaster on the ground. According to the scenario, a huge wildfire near populated areas has affected an industrial zone resulting in an explosion. Wild-land fire suppression and rescue operations have to be carried out simultaneously and populated areas need to be evacuated. The extent of the disaster calls for EU assistance.
The Greek, Italian, Cypriot and Croatian teams practice search and rescue, aerial and ground fire-fighting skills and equipment. Technical support is being provided by German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), while the Lithuania Civil Protection Authority is involved with a scientific advisory role. The decision making process for requesting international assistance and the role of the ERCC are being tested as well.
The exercise EU PROMETHEUS 2014 is co-funded under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism and is the first exercise conducted in accordance with the new EU civil protection legislation that came into force on January 1, 2014.