Mazda delivered all-new BT-50 quick-response fire units to 35 Greek communities at a special event held at the Zappeion Megaron in Athens last week. This was in response to the devastating fires that ravaged parts of Greece last summer. Attending the event were the Greek Minister of Interior, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, along with 35 mayors of the recipient communities and Mazda executives.

The ceremony marked the culmination of months of intense activity by Mazda Motor Europe and its Greek distributor, ELMA S.A. which retrofitted all 35 vehicles with a fire-fighting superstructure in Greece. This superstructure consists of a steel frame, an 800-litre tank of water, a high-pressure centrifugal pump, 25-metre hoses with special nozzles and other fire-fighting gear.

In his keynote speech Dr. Michael Cortessis, managing director of ELMA S.A., thanked Mazda Motor Corporation and Mazda Motor Europe for their generosity. "This donation is not only a response to last year's devastation," he said. "The choice to make the donation goes beyond our normal business. It expresses our belief that corporate social responsibility is long-term and does not end with the creation of income and jobs, but also concerns the natural and social environment."

Mazda BT-50, 1 of 4
Mazda BT-50, 2 of 4
Mazda BT-50, 3 of 4
Mazda BT-50, 4 of 4

The pickups were donated to communities located in fire danger zones during the summer months. They are painted red and have special insignia on the sides, centre-opening doors and room for four fire-fighters. Relatively small with all-wheel drive and a strong 2.5-litre common-rail turbo diesel engine, Mazda BT-50 is especially manoeuvrable in difficult wooded terrain. It can respond quickly and either put out a fire before it spreads, or contain it until larger fire-fighting equipment arrives. Mazda and ELMA S.A. have retrofitted a total of 135 pickups outfitted as quick-response fire units during the last several years in Greece.

"Mazda is pleased to be able to help like this," said Philip Waring, Vice President for Sales at Mazda Motor Europe. "And though we are hopeful they will help prevent the devastation we witnessed last summer – our sincere wish is that these communities never have to use them."