The goal is to have a trustworthy, reliable, and responsive fire brigade, Justice Minister Anna Koukides-Procopiou said during her first official visit to the fire service headquarters on Friday.

The minister had an introductory meeting with officials, district chiefs, the commander of the disaster response squad, and the heads of departments at the headquarters.

She also laid a wreath at the memorial for fallen firefighters at the entrance of the building.

According to a written statement, deputy fire service chief Nikos Logginos briefed the minister on the duties and responsibilities of the service and presented numbers on the provision of help to the public.

The purpose of Procopiou’s visit, the statement added, was to inform on the objectives of her ministry and hear the opinions of the fire service to make its work more effective.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the minister said that the bar is already high for the fire service.

Justice Minister Anna Koukkides-Procopiou, fire service

Justice Minister Anna Koukkides-Procopiou

She also pledged her ministry’s support for firefighters, saying that the service’s existing needs are fully acknowledged by the government in accordance with President Nikos Christodoulides’ pledge during the election period to upgrade the fire service and bring it up to speed with EU standards.

The public know that when they call the fire service, the fire service will respond in the best way possible, she added.

Procopiou reminded that as the force has very recently become autonomous from the police, “we have a lot of things to complete in terms of procedures and staffing”.

Thanking the minister, Logginos stressed that the fire service will continue with zeal and empathy to offer its services to the people of the Republic of Cyprus.

“We are one of the first services in the public’s consciousness, and we will remain there,” he said.