News Local British bases provide key support to Cyprus' firefighters

British bases provide key support to Cyprus’ firefighters

The crew of RAF Akrotiri’s 84 Squadron have been reflecting on the challenges they have faced so far during what has been one of the busiest fire seasons for Cyprus in recent years.
The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 outbreak has put every department within BFC under more pressure, but this has not stopped 84 Squadron working alongside the Republic of Cyprus Fire Services to provide key support to its firefighting efforts.
In a recent interview with the Cyprus Lion, BFC’s Command Fire Officer, Alex Middleton, spoke about the high volume of fires this year and he pointed to 84 Sqn’s work in tackling many of those blazes.
Much of the success in fighting fires as they continue to break out island-wide, is down to the continuous training the crew undertake and according to Officer Commanding, Squadron Leader Alan Ross, it is essential to ensure his team understand the working practices of their RoC counterparts.
Last month, the squadron took part in Exercise ICARUS, the RoC’s annual fire-fighting exercise in the Troodos Mountain areas.
Simulating wildfires, which must be extinguished by airborne crews, Sqn Ldr Ross, spoke about his crew’s involvement and the benefit it provided.
He said: “ICARUS 2020 provided a brilliant opportunity for 84 Squadron to meet and train with our Cypriot friends in the Cyprus Police, National Guard and Forestry Commission.
“The exercise happens once a year at the start of the firefighting season so we can all refresh our operating procedures as part of the national response plan and build on the strengthening relationships forged over the previous years.”
In preparation for the fire season, during the cooler periods, 84 Squadron held weekly meetings to plan sorties to ensure they maintained key skills.
This proved highly-successful last year after the squadron battled multiple wildfires and assisted the RoC by dropping more than 200 tonnes of water in support of firefighting efforts.
Sqn Ldr Ross was also quick to praise the efforts of his entire team, both military and civilian, for ensuring his crew are as well prepared as they could possibly be.
He continued: “84 Squadron’s firefighting capability could not be achieved without our civil service staff, operations assistants, military aircrew and most importantly, our civilian engineering team pulling together and working around the clock, truly delivering a whole-force approach to protect people and save lives.
“I am very proud of the hard work and effort by everyone on the 84 Squadron team, the results speak for themselves.”

Top Stories

Confirmed covid patient refuses to self isolate, walks around in free Famagusta area-Dozens of people booked

  A woman from the free Famagusta area who tested positive for covid-19 did not self-isolate and was walking in a public area yesterday noon. She...

Covid-19 patients rise at referral hospital, now 59

  Covid-19 patients at the Famagusta General, the referral hospital for coronavirus have risen to 59. Four are being treated in the increased care unit for...

5 third country students employed illegally at two Nicosia restaurants

  Authorities continued a campaign to stamp out the illegal employment of third country individuals who are being exploited by Cypriot employers for peanuts. Officers from...

Mass rapid tests in Larnaca over the weekend

  Rapid tests will be taking place throughout the weekend in the city of Larnaca. The municipality informed the public that the Health Ministry had organised...

What Covid? 17 people gambling on home table booked

  Police in Paphos are investigating an illegal gambling case, with 17 people setting up in a private residence early evening yesterday. The Crime Prevention Unit...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...