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With applause and flowers and tears in their eyes, they welcomed the mission of the “Macedonia” airport of Thessaloniki Greek Rescue Team who was in Turkey to help pull people out of the rubble after last week’s deadly earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria.

Members of the EOD and relatives of the volunteers, who have been in Turkey since last Thursday, had gathered at the airport. They hugged their own people who had not seen them for a week.

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The vice consul of the Turkish Consulate in Thessaloniki was also present at the arrivals of Macedonia Airport, Gokce Over. In gratitude for the volunteers’ contribution to the rescue operations of her compatriots, she welcomed them with a bouquet of flowers and a smile.

The 13-month-old EOD research dog stole the show. Speedy who helped pull people out of the rubble.

The head of the mission, Yiannis Papastathis, was moved and spoke about the experience in Turkey, speaking of mixed feelings. “There has been a war there. Great disaster. We are not heroes, these are the heroes. We faced this for seven days in sub-zero temperatures. These are the heroes,” he says and “bends.”

The mission of the Greek Rescue Team last night was in Istanbul, where it was warmly welcomed by airport officials and the people of Turkish Airlines, who took care of their feeding and overnight stay in the company’s hotel. Characteristic of the reception they had from the citizens in Thessaloniki is a video posted by EOD on social networks, where it shows citizens applauding them.

The mission of the volunteers of the Hellenic Rescue Team attempted in the city of Antiyaman, Turkey, assisting the Turkish forces.

A few hours before their departure from the field and, in particular, on the evening of Monday 13 February, members of the Team assisted and supported the Turkish rescue teams in a very difficult extrication of three people who were found alive in the rubble of a building in the city of Antiyaman.

This was one of many search and rescue operations carried out and supported by the volunteers, with the help of Speedy, the EMS search dog, from the first night of their arrival in the affected area. In total, EOD attempted 13 collapsed buildings, always operating under the direction of the Turkish AFAD and using all rescue equipment at its disposal.