The fire brigade is in the final stage of recruiting a total of 259 new firefighters.

The new recruits will be added to the fire brigade’s current staff, which at present consists of a total of 680 people.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony for probationary firefighters on Wednesday, Justice Minister Marios Hartsiotis said the move “demonstrates the great effort which is being made to reinforce the fire brigade and the state’s entire fire safety system.”

He added, “the challenges the fire brigade faces are constantly increasing, through a constantly changing environment, with rapid technological developments, large-scale building construction, and an increase in the frequency of technological disasters which are becoming ever more intense as a result of the climate crisis.”

With this in mind, he said, the government has placed the issue of fire safety and reinforcing the fire brigade “high on its list of priority”, both in terms of its logistical infrastructure and the equipment it has at its disposal.

He went on to say that ordinary people “recognise and reward the work done by the fire brigade every day,” and that the government is taking the appropriate measures in terms of operational planning and preventative measures ahead of the coming summer.

Addressing the firefighters present, he said “I would like to take this opportunity to invite you all to prepare properly, so you are able to always be at the highest possible level of operational readiness; ready to respond successfully to the new demands of our time.”

He added that he hopes human error “will not be the main source of fires again this year.”

The recruitment comes as the fire brigade responded to a total of 43 incidents in the space of 24 hours.

Fire brigade spokesman Andreas Kettis wrote on X, the social media platform better known as Twitter, that a total of 25 of those incidents were fires.