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Shocking images from the efforts of EMAK, after deadly earthquake in Turkeyto rescue among others children through the ruins of buildings are recorded in a video of the Fire Department.

In the videos below, EMAK rescuers can be seen in the rubble, opening tunnels, even crawling to try to reach a trapped person. The young woman talks to the rescuers who try to reassure her, telling her not to worry while they take the necessary actions to extricate her.

“We were shocked by the voices of the buried alive”: EMAK men describe the moments in Turkey that marked them

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The men of EMAK who attempted in Turkey saving 5 human lives under the rubble shared everything they experienced during their stay in the affected areas. Moments small and at the same time shocking, hours of agony and vindication when a person was brought back alive. Moments that shocked them and will mark them for the rest of their lives.

The Greek search and rescue team was flown to Adana and from there by road to Antioch (Hatai)

– Epipyragos Yiannopoulos: We arrived first at the point of greatest destruction and became the first coordination center for the international forces, together with the Swiss.

– Pyragos Nikas Konstantinos: In the first days of the rescue we operated with information from the locals in an extremely dangerous working environment.

“We moved with specific information and threw our forces at confirmed survivors. That’s how the first days of the rescue went, and then when the International Coordination Center was activated, the information came through it.”

– For front page Hurriyet “thank you very much friend”: Confirms the behavior and attitude of Turkish citizens. They trusted us because they understood that we do not discriminate.

The moments that marked the team

The men of EMAK, often smiling, moved, referred to the moments that will remain in their memory forever


“We were shocked by the voices of the buried alive, which then stopped and we were anxious to hear them again.”

“Long and complicated rescue of 20-year-old Irene on the second day, the girl who even asked to have her leg amputated to free her.”

“On the 8th of the month, we had found an 8-year-old boy alive, parallel to the rescue operation of the 6-year-old girl, we were giving him water and he was reminding us that he was at 10%, that he couldn’t take it anymore…”

“In the midst of the destruction, a little boy came and gave us a box of cookies.”

“We were working at the same time in 4 places”


“Although the goal is to try to retrieve alive trapped people in the first 72 hours, we did not stop searches and efforts until the last moment.”

“Although in these cases each team works on one spot, on the first day we broke and worked on 4 spots at the same time, switching positions between us.”

“We were not hindered by the aftershocks, we had secured the field where we were working – under ceilings, beams, etc. We are trained to reduce the risk of danger both for us and for those trapped.”

“In times of trouble, you ask your neighbor for help”


The interview is also attended by a correspondent of the Turkish Anadolu agency. The journalist first thanked the Greek rescuers for their help and asked them how they themselves see the good relations between the two peoples in recent days, due to this tragic event.

– “From our experience we know that in a disaster you first ask for help from your neighbor, the one next to you, and then from the rest of the wider neighborhood. We’re standing like that, like neighbors, we ran first.”

To deal with the Turkish people

“The friendly approach of the world in shock was reflected in very small things, e.g

During breaks, citizens would come by themselves to give us a piece of bread or some hot tea.

At one point we went to a supply stand and all the earthquake victims and homeless people who were hungry and thirsty stepped aside and prioritized us.”

– Why did you make the front page out of 88 crews from all over the world?

“Our work was equal to all other synergies, but there is a deeper connection between Greece and Turkey. When we introduced ourselves as “Younan” (Greek) the embrace was open”

The after… “These things don’t go away, you carry them with you”

“There are protocols, psychological support, sessions, mutual support… But these things don’t go away, you carry them with you and hope to become a better person.”

“During the rescue the tension and adrenaline is so great that it doesn’t let you collapse. But then, everyone in their own way, will relax and try to expel it from themselves”.


Why did you leave?

“The team operates according to the rules of the European Civil Protection Mechanism and must meet the minimum requirements.
One of these features is the 7-day battery life. After these days, the team’s search and rescue mission was completed and that’s why we left.”

The deputy minister, Giannopoulos Panagiotis, closed the press conference by once again expressing the group’s “heartfelt condolences for the victims of the earthquake and our solidarity with the Turkish people.

We are not heroes, we are just professionals trained to operate with a view to saving human life”