The mission of the Fire Service is to save life and property, to protect buildings from fire and to provide assistance of humanitarian nature.
Historically, before the Republic of Cyprus’ declaration of independence in 1960, the Fire Service had one fire station in each city. From 1960 to 1974 there was a steady and rapid growth of the Service in all sectors.
The 1974 Turkish invasion brought significant changes to the overall composition and structure of the Fire Service, as a result of:
- the uprooting and the movement of population to urban centres,
- the rapid activation of the construction industry and the development of tourism and industry.
Since 1974, the Fire Service provides fire safety services to the entire government controlled area of Cyprus, with fire stations in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaka, Pafos and Ammochostos (Dherynia), with 24-hour operation of 13 stations, which have the appropriate firefighting and rescue equipment.
Additionally, for a more effective rural coverage, the Fire Service created 18 Rural Stations at strategic points, which are staffed by temporary firefighters who reside in the vicinity of the station. The Service also provides firefighting services to the two international airports, in Larnaka and Pafos, in accordance with the requirements and regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
During the summer season, from May to November, a number of Fire Workers are recruited, who are employed exclusively to extinguish fires in the countryside.
Fire Service Headquarters
The Fire Service Headquarters is made-up of the following sections:
– Press and Public Relations
– Operations Coordinating Center
In order to perform the work of the above sections, the following departments/offices operate:
– Fire Safety Department
– Procurement Department
– Information Technology Department
– Vehicle Mobility Department
– Accounting Department
– Registry Office
– Storehouse Department
– Office of Rural Stations
Additionally, there is a Fire Training College, which operates in Nicosia.
The Fire Service is basically a motorized service and therefore has its own maintenance, repair and inspection workshop of the motor vehicles and firefighting equipment, which operates on a 24-hour basis.
Disaster Response Special Unit (DRSU)
This unit began its operation in April 2002 and it is located in the community of Kofinou.
DRSU is a well-trained and properly equipped body, with special vehicles and gear that render it ready and able to carry out its mission effectively.
In case of an earthquake or building collapse from other causes, the Unit takes action to find and rescue people trapped in the rubble, using special gear and with the help of dogs. It has three inflatable boats with which DRSU members perform underwater search and rescue at sea and dams.
Additionally, DRSU members are trained in climbing and rappelling and can undertake rescue and firefighting operations in inaccessible areas and tall buildings.
Objectives and Perspectives
The main objective of the Fire Service is the continued training of its personnel, in Cyprus and abroad, and the acquisition of modern gear and equipment so as to ensure the best possible assistance to the public.
The Fire Service annually organizes the “Fire Safety Week”, with the aim to inform and sensitize the general public on key issues of prevention and mitigation of fires. To this end, it distributes enlightening material about fire prevention. It also visits private homes, offices, hotels, factories, schools and camps of the National Guard, providing information on risks to the public from fire.
With past experiences and with the accession of Cyprus to the European Union, the Fire Service has become a well-staffed, trained and equipped service, which operates at professional standards and is at the service of the public on a 24-hour basis, ready to respond promptly and effectively to any call for help, where human life or property are at risk.
Fire Service Headquarters
Academias 12, 2330 Lakatamia