meet the hellenic rescue team

The Hellenic Rescue Team volunteers come from all walks of life on the island of Lesvos. Here we meet a few of them…

Mpamphis

“My name is Mpamphis, and I’m 40 years old. I’m the President of the Hellenic Rescue Team.

I went to an event that was held in Mytilene in 2014, where the team made a presentation about the work it does, and how you can become a volunteer rescuer.

I was really interested. We Greeks love to volunteer, and we love to help our fellow humans, regardless of race or religion. So I received the information I needed, and joined the team.

Since then, the Hellenic Rescue Team has become an integral part of my every day life. I feel like I entered a family full of people who love what they do, and are so professional.

For the future, I envision the team with even more members with the same love of education and professionalism that we possess, so that we can help as many people as we can.”

“I feel like i entered a family full of people who love what they do, and are so professional.”

Antigoni

“My name is Antigoni I am a volunteer for the Hellenic Rescue Team on Lesvos.

My biggest success for the HRT is that I am still here after 17 years. I have ideas, goals that I want to achieve. And from three members, we now have 57. I am proud of that, and I want to go up and up and up.

I got involved with Hellenic Rescue Team 17 years ago. I joined because of personal experience – my family. I wanted to learn how to provide first aid, and to become a lifeguard. My sister has cystic fibrosis, and from an early age she had problems and needed first aid. That is what inspired me to help other people. 

We want to inspire more local people to volunteer for the team like first aid, water rescue and mountain rescue. Our members we have now do more levels of achievement than basic knowledge. To go to a level up. And the older members we have to train the new members. 

I feel very happy when responding, very proud of our members, especially is afraid when he or she joins and doesn’t want to be involved, and after three or four months training, they are the first one to respond!

Juggling motherhood and volunteering for the HRT is a little tiring! But I am very proud when I take my children – my daughter, four, and my son, two – with me to do training or inspire people. My daughter who is four can do CPR or first aid, and I am proud of that! She has inside her the feeling that she must help others. Our goal is to have a kids’ department of HRT!”

Vassilis

“My name is Vassilis and I am 36 years old. I am Head of Water Rescue for the Hellenic Rescue Team.

I got involved with HRT because I wanted to help other people and look after my family. I’ve been doing this for about 14 years. I have a wife and two kids, and I am an IT consultant. 

I have been doing this for so long because I like to help others. My wife’s name is Antigone, also a volunteer. I believe we are doing really well as a team. 

During the refugee crisis on the island, we were involved at sea, not inside the camps. We were in a lot of accidents, and usually we we called to take the bodies out of capsized boats.”

“I have been doing this for so long because I like to help others.”

evangelia

“My name is Evangelia and I am 23 years old. I am a student studying social anthropology and history.

I was inspired to join the team by two accidents that happened to my mum and my ex-boyfriend. My mum felt uneasy. And my ex boyfriend had epilepsy. And I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do. I felt so powerless. That’s why I joined HRT.

I have been with HRT for one and a half years. Now, I am able to help. I feel really happy about it. I did first aid training and sea rescue training. The other day, there was a man in the bank who felt dizzy, and I knew exactly what to do in that situation.”

“I was inspired by two accidents that happened to family, and I felt powerless as I was unable to respond. Now I am a Hellenic Rescue Volunteer, I am able to help.”

kostas

“My name is Kostas, and I am 35 years old. I am in the military, and also a volunteer with the Hellenic Rescue Team in Lesvos. I’ve been a volunteer for the last eight years.

I joined HRT because I liked the idea of helping other people. My biggest achievement on the team is rescuing people. My first rescue was a refugee rescue during the crisis.

I think we’ll make progress in the next five years. We want more people to join and train with us.”

vaggelis

“Hello, my name is Papadimitriou Evangelos (Vaggelis), and I am 22 years old.

I study marine biology, and I have been a first aid instructor in the Hellenic rescue team since 2017.

The reason that I volunteer for the Hellenic rescue team is because I consider it to be very important to help other people.”

lefki

“My name is Lefki, and I’m 21 years old. I’m a student at the University of the Aegean here in Lesvos, and I’m also a volunteer for HRT for about four years.

I joined HRT because of some incidents that happened to my mother, and I couldn’t help her. After these incidents, I decided to learn the first aid, and be able to help the people that I love, and generally everyone in an emergency.

I think Hellenic Rescue Team will become bigger in the next few years, and I hope more people will join our team and train to save lives.”

“I hope more people will join our team and train to save lives.”