FERRARA, Italy- Representatives from U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza Fire Department were invited to the official opening of the Volunteer Fire Department Center of Bondeno, a town near Ferrara, about 75 miles south of Vicenza.

During the event, Giancarlo Casarotto Fattori, USAG Vicenza fire chief presented a plaque of the American Firefighters prayer to the Comandante Provinciale Vigili del Fuoco di Ferrara Dott. Ing. Cristiano Cusin, and Capo Distaccamento Vigili del Fuoco di Bondeno Michele Marchetti, respectively province commander and detachment chief of the local fire department.

The ribbon cutting ceremony for the official opening took place in the presence of the mayor of Bondeno Alan Fabbri, the Prefect of Ferrara Raimondo Provvidenza and civil, military and religious authorities.

"Many firefighters from different Italian fire departments gathered for the ceremony," said Fattori, who participated in the event along with Christopher Bender and John McDonald, USAG Vicenza assistant chiefs.

"The Bondeno Firefighter's Detachment operates in conjunction with the local civil protection department and a control center was already used as the headquarters of emergency operations during the earthquake, which occurred in the area this past May," he said.

Mayor Alan Fabbri thanked all the participating groups that joined the event that included the American colleagues from Caserma Ederle, several detachments from the Trentino region, three Byelorussian firefighters from Orsha and some representatives from Dillingen, Germany.

As part of the ceremony speech, the Italian National Fire Department Chief Prefect Francesco Paolo Tronca highlighted the importance of the firefighters as "an example of solidarity, especially in case of disasters and emergencies."