SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Chief Steven Pinch is pleased to announce that the Union Fire District will be continuing a longstanding partnership with the Hellenic Volunteer Firefighters Association this month when a dozen volunteer firefighters and additional personnel from Greece visit the department for a week to train and interact with UFD members.
A live burn demonstration and media availability will take place on Thursday, Nov. 3 at noon.
Union Fire District headquarters and training complex, 131 Asa Pond Road, South Kingstown.
- Volunteer firefighters and staff from the Greek Hellenic Volunteer Firefighters Association
- Members of the Union Fire District
Volunteer firefighters from the Hellenic Volunteer Firefighters Association first came to visit the Union Fire District in 2011, as an opportunity to learn new firefighting techniques and collaborate with UFD members. As they did not have access to a live burn training facility in their home country, they used the trip to engage in real-time intensive training as well as meet and ask questions of their volunteer firefighter counterparts in the United States.
A total of 16 volunteer firefighters visited in 2011, and when they returned home they shared their experiences with their fellow first responders. Return visits were made in 2015 and 2017, with new groups of firefighters coming each time.
A fourth trip was planned for 2020 but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This month’s visit will serve as the rescheduling of that fourth trip.
A total of 12 firefighters will be making the trip from Greece this month, including two female firefighters. In addition, four other members of the Hellenic Volunteer Firefighters Association will be attending, including the group’s President, Vice President, International Relations Manager, and a firefighter/photographer who will be documenting the trip.
Firefighters will be visiting from Oct. 29 to Nov. 5.
“We are very fortunate to have state-of-the-art training facilities and equipment here at UFD, and to be able to share our resources and knowledge with fellow volunteer firefighters from the other side of the globe is a terrific opportunity,” Chief Pinch said. “We are grateful that the Hellenic Volunteer Firefighters Association has partnered with us for many years, and look forward to continuing this positive relationship when their members visit us later this month.”