Polish firemen in Sweden show Poland cares for EU

By sending firemen to help tackle major wildfires in central Sweden, Poland has shown that it can help friends in need, Polish Interior Minister Joachim Brudziński said on Friday.

"We showed that we can help our friends, and all the stories that the (ruling Law and Justice party) PiS wants to organise some sort of Polexit, that we do not feel responsible for the EU, are worthless," he stressed, commenting on the action of Polish firefighters in Sweden.

Brudziński said that the expedition had been organised according to "a friend in need is a friend indeed" principle, adding that the way the Polish firefighters were welcomed by the inhabitants of Sweden "was certainly the most beautiful reward for them."

"Our neighbors can always count on us and not only as part of our presence in the EU," the interior minister stressed.

Around 140 Polish firefighters were fighting forest fires in central Sweden from July 22 till August 3. The mission was originally planned for a period of up to 14 days. During that time, Polish firefighters were self-sufficient in terms of logistics and medical resources. The team included medical rescuers and had its own tents, food and fuel.

The expedition to Sweden was a response to an official request by the Swedish authorities for rescue support in the fight against forest fires, made under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Forest fires in Sweden were the result of high temperatures not typical for Scandinavia, and low rainfall.