In the villages of Karditsa and Trikalawhere pain, sorrow and resentment have covered everything along with tons of mud and water, the firefighters of the 3rd EMAK of Crete undertook the most difficult missions.

They freed dozens of people who had been trapped on balconies and rooftops for days, waiting to be rescued. The images they saw can only be described in words despair and biblical disaster.

The executives of the Fire Department from Crete they arrived at night where they had been assigned their first mission and it was no other from helping the residents.

“We were the first team to arrive. Imagine hundreds of people on rooftops and high places screaming. People were asking for help. They couldn’t stay there any longer. Dbut we could not transport them all. Hundreds of calls for help. Who to take and who to leave» he emphasizes. Fortunately, everyone was freed and saved” said Mr. Kalogiannakis, who together with a team of EMAK returned to Heraklion yesterday, while a second team continues to fight to save everything that can be saved.

With the gps and the boat

One of the first missions was the village Marathas. The approach there seemed like an endless journey. “From the point where we gathered on the first day, this village was 13 kilometers away. But everything was covered with water, a vast lake. We tried to reach the boat above, with the help of the gps. We could not make a diagonal march, cut a road. It was impossible because of the obstacles that did not allow us to do so. We followed the gps and after 4.5 hours we reached the village».

The extrication operation that was set up was reminiscent Hollywood setting.

“Together with the army and the other EMAKs we built a port. The boats were lined up, going and bringing people. Then we handed them over to operators of huge tractors that could move through this lake of mud and took the people to safety. THEour rescues were done in any way we could, with ropes, with special equipment, with whatever was availablesays Mr. Kalogiannakis.

But one of the most moving moments was the one where the men of the 3rd EMAK of Crete managed to rescue a paraplegic boy and his mother. “We got there first. The child had to be taken to a safe place to continue his treatment. Together with his mother, they were on the second floor of their house “trapped”. The first floor was not there, it was all covered with water. Fortunately, everything went well.”

Exciting scenes were constantly unfolding. Cgrandmothers and grandfathers unable to walk had been abandoned to their fate. But when the rescuers approached them, they burst into tears and hugged these people.

We asked Mr. Kalogiannakis how many people his own team saved. “I can’t say precisely,” he tells us. We were looking to get there as quickly as possible to avoid any casualties. Sixty, seventy people? I can’t say for sure” answers us.

One of the most difficult moments was when the residents, although “flirting” with death, did not want to leave their homes and properties. Fortunately in most of these cases logic prevailed and the last inhabitants of the villages boarded the boats.