CESV day out in Yeşilkõy

By Chris Elliott

It’s been a busy year for CESV and there have been major instances of Fires in the TRNC and also really severe cases in the US and if we reflect on this, it is clear we should be prepared and this is what CESV do through training others..

The volunteers from the Civil Emergency Volunteers are very active but they do have fun and I recall one occasion when we spent a great day with them and wrote about it in a local newspaper.

Teşekkür Ederim, Terry Bey

“It’s so nice to have time to be with friends and last weekend Margaret and I went with a happy band of folk from CES(V) who, minus their high visibility orange uniforms, were off to see their friends from the Iskele Police and Fire Brigade at the Iskele Region Fire station in Yeşilkõy. For our readers, here in the TRNC the Police and Fire Brigade are combined together as one service.

So our coach arrived after chuffing up the mountain highways and we were greeted 1 Iskele Region Fire Stationwith the sight of what may once have been a military base in years gone by but now is a haven of peace and tranquillity with the welcoming shade of pine trees, well groomed drive ways and an abundance of bushes and plants with brightly coloured flowers.

If this welcome was not enough we were all to be greeted with lots of hand shaking and greetings of  Hoş Geldiniz and what a warm friendly welcome we received.

We were ushered through the beautiful garden area to tables where so many members of the Services had gathered together with their families and it really was a party atmosphere. Being seated we were soon being served with cooling drinks by members of the fire crews assisted by the irrepressible Berrin Ozkaya, our CESV translator and acting head waiter.

2. Happy Diners
Happy Diners

So it was very much like a family gathering and soon it was time for a few speeches and Aysin Öztrak, the TRNC Fire Brigade’s Chief through Berrin made a speech of welcome and said please enjoy yourselves with us today. Our fire stations are like families and we are one big family and we welcome you as part of our family.

We are pleased to have our friend Terry Carter with us today and every time we save a life, we will remember Terry and you all and for the help you have given us. Teşekkür Ederim.

Ahmet Zaim, the Iskele Police Commander for the Karpaz region, (now the TRNC National Police Commander) made a presentation of a plaque to Terry Carter and had the following to say :

8 Terry Carter (left) receives a plaque from TRNC Fire Chief, Aysin Öztrak (centre) and  Police Commander Ahmet Zaim (right)
Terry Carter (left) receives a plaque from TRNC Fire Chief, Aysin Öztrak (centre) and Police Commander Ahmet Zaim (right)

“This is a plaque for Mr Terry from the Iskele Police Division”.    

 A lovely cased plaque was presented to Terry and Aysin Bey, TRNC National Fire Chief then presented a fireman’s helmet to Terry, with much applause and maybe a few tears.

Ahmet Bey together with Aysin Bey also presented a gift to each of the guests which had been provided by the Karpaz Police Headquarters

Terry replied “Over the years I have been coming to North Cyprus, it has been my pleasure to work with Aysin Bey and Ahmet Bey and when you say we are part of the family we really appreciate that because we are family.  It is very important that our members realise how much we, (CES(V) Volunteers, are working together with you.  If there is ever an accident or emergency we are always there to help because we are one family and I would like to thank you on behalf of everybody for such a fantastic dinner.  Thank you.  When we come back in September for a holiday we will come and see you again.”

I had the opportunity to sit and speak with Aysin Öztrak, the TRNC Fire Brigade’s Chief and through Berrin he told me:

11 Terry Carter, a very happy man who received the recognition he so richly deserves
Terry Carter, a very happy man who received the recognition he so richly deserves

 “Our aim is to give quality service to the public.  We try to send our staff to other countries, sometimes to Turkey and sometimes to England but after I met Terry we started to receive training from him and his volunteers which will continue and we will continue to send our staff to England for training.  We aim to get the best quality services and we try to buy new technology tools or systems so sometimes we need financial investment.  We bought a 52m hydraulic fire vehicle for a new high buildings and now we have ordered another one, a 42m vehicle.  We are trying to open new Branches especially in Girne and are thinking of a new Branch for Iskele.  We want to invest by introducing new technology.  We have had training from Terry which is really important and good and we will continue to improve our service with training so hopefully we can all continue together, plus our aim as I said before, is to provide the best service to our public.”

So what a wonderful day we all had and looking back over the past few weeks and months following the activities of the Civilian Emergency Service Volunteers (CESV) I had a growing awareness that there was a very special bond developing between the expatriate communities and the emergency services through the volunteers and in addition to all of first aid training there has been increasing community bonding. For all of this, Teşekkür Ederim, Terry Bey you have worked so hard and achieved so much and you will be missed, but your work goes on.”

Can Gazi with the CESV Volunteers
Can Gazi with the CESV Volunteers

And so it does with the CESV volunteers having carried on their support of the communities alongside Sivil Savunma led by Steve Collard the new CESV Director of Operations with so many more training days with the TRNC Police, Fire and Ambulance services as well as hospitals, schools and other organisations. Such is the impact of their profile and continued work in training and community relations building, in the TRNC that they have even been interviewed by Can Gazi for his A Cup of Converstaion show on BRT2  Television.

Our review of Can Gazi’s “A Cup of Conversation” with the CESV Volunteers  can be read on cyprusscene.com in the next few days so do keep watching our daily postings.

Do you think you would be prepared when an emergency occurs, if not contact CESV and perhaps join them on one of their open evenings and enrol on a training session, please  click here for more information.

Go along and meet Choking Charlie as well and find out what it’s all about.

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