The Civil Protection Volunteer Groups play a crucial role within an effective system for the forest-fire management, contributing to the protection of the forests, to the early detection and management of wildfires, to the coverage of isolated places and to the enforcement of the forces of repression in cases of wild disasters. Moreover it contributes to the more effective usage of the financial resources afforded by the state and its more effective geographic allocation. Finally, it contributes to the sensitization and mobilization of the citizens towards the direction of the security, fire prevention and general protection of the forests
However, the operational use of the volunteers remains restricted compared with many states of the European Union (and not only). The lack of: (a) An organized system of Volunteering within the Civil Protection Agencies (b) An effective system of education, certification and evaluation (c) Complete framework for the safety of the volunteer groups (d) Technical equipment (e) Resources (f) Common targets among the involved agencies (Volunteer Groups, Local Government, Fire Service, General Secretariat for Civil Protection) is one of the main reasons that keep the role of the Volunteer Groups of Civil Protection Agancies restricted.
The overall objective of the OUTLAND Project is the creation of a complete system / framework for the education and training of the Firest Fire Volunteers Groups of Civil Protection Agencies in Greece and Bulgaria. This framework includes educational material, the necessary infrastructure, tools and mechanisms, so as the framework will be available and usefull after the end of the project. The education and training that leads to the specialization and certification of the Forest Fire Volunteer Groups is considered to be the cornerstone for the activation of a procedure that will bring the volunteers to the foreground, will exploit their capabilities and will make their role clear to the citizens and also to the involved operational commanders.