Stawell Victoria State Emergency Service volunteer John Hooper has been deployed to Greece

State Emergency Service Stawell Unit member John Hooper surveying the impact of the devastating fires in Mati, Greece. Picture: CONTRIBUTED
State Emergency Service Stawell Unit member John Hooper surveying the impact of the devastating fires in Mati, Greece. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

STAWELL State Emergency Service volunteer John Hooper has been deployed to Greece following devastating fires. 

The wildfires in Greece killed at least 90 people, with some people still reported as missing. 

The fires began on July 23, with the resort town of Mati one of the worst-affected areas. 

Mr Hooper is one of 10 Australians from Fire and Rescue New South Wales and Victoria Fire and Emergency Services forming the Disaster Assistance Response Team. 

The team will conduct fire impact assessments in the affected areas. 

Stawell Victoria State Emergency Service unit controller Alan Blight said Mr Hooper had extensive training in search and rescue. 

“John has been part of the Victoria State Emergency Service for nearly 40 years,” he said. 

“He started as a volunteer with the emergency service in Stawell.

“He eventually became a career State Emergency Service person.” 

Mr Hooper worked for the State Emergency Service for 25 years as a regional trainer. 

“John retired and has now been a volunteer with the Stawell State Emergency Service branch for four years,” Mr Blight said. 

“He has extensive training and his passion is in Urban Search and Rescue, where he is a category two operator.” 

Urban Search and Rescue technicians are trained in the use of advanced rescue and search equipment, tunneling and shoring. 

The Assistance Response Team will be supported by crisis response officers from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Emergency Management Australia, who will assist Greece to plan and co-ordinate recovery efforts.