arrow-right angle-down-sx angle-down-dx menu-hamburger search YouTube Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn Flickr Scribd Info Tooltip

Prysmian Group Power Link donates uniforms for a crew of emergency first responders

Prysmian Group Power Link donates uniforms for a crew of emergency first responders

Felice Longoni (Group Quality) leads a team of 14 Civil Protection volunteers who helped their town get through the outbreak of Covid-19

Sometimes it’s the small things that can matter most. For Prysmian Group’s Felice Longoni, who lives in Cernusco Lombardone, a small town between Milan and Lake Como, one of the sights that troubled him most when Covid-19 pandemic broke out last spring was the town’s cemetery.

“As an Alpini Group leader, I asked the mayor if we could get involved,” recalls Longoni.


Felice Longoni

Quality Supplier

“Every time I went by, it made me feel so bad, because no one could take care of it,” he recalls. “The flowers were rotting in the water, and the grass was growing too high. Some of the tombs were poorly maintained. So I asked the mayor if we could get involved.”


As a volunteer at Italy’s Civil Protection Department, Longoni has 32 years of experience in handling emergencies far worse than unkept lawns. When disaster strikes, volunteers from some 5,000 organizations support Italy’s Civil Protection by working side by side with other first responders. These volunteers dug through the rubble of the 2009 earthquake in the Abruzzo; handled crowd control at Pope John Paul II’s funeral; and assisted the homeless after Hurricane Katrina.


During Covid-19, their triangle logo was a familiar sight on jackets in vaccine centers across the country.

Sadly, when Covid-19 broke out in 2020, the Civil Protection team in Cernusco Lombardone was just two people, and one of them was Longoni. He recruited 14 people in the early months of the pandemic who worked together to clean up the cemetery after work. They had it ready for Easter. The experience was so positive that they decided to form a new team.

Over a year later, on June 27, Longoni and his team of 14 finally celebrated their inauguration, outfitted with yellow and blue uniforms donated by Prysmian Group bearing the Powerlink logo. Each volunteer was supplied with a windbreaker, insulated vest, shirt, pants, turtleneck, and beret. The €5,000 donation is part of Prysmian Group’s commitment to contributing to the communities where it does business. These Civil Protection teams serve the local community first and foremost, as well as pitch in for national and international disasters.

“The cost can run up to €450 each, and not everyone can afford it,” he explains. “If I didn’t get this funding from Prysmian, I would not have had the money to equip my team. Many Civil Protection squads get financed by the state. But many, like ours, are self-financed.”

Longoni’s first experience with a disaster was in 1985, when a massive mudslide killed 268 people in the Stava River valley in Trentino. He was one of the 4,000 Alpini, the Italian Army’s specialist mountain infantry, who participated in the rescue effort. He arrived in a helicopter two hours after the disaster, and it haunts him still.

“It was really devastating,” he says. “The veterans of the rescue effort were only able to get back in touch with one another 30 years later, and we all said we had the same feeling. We didn’t want to remember that event.”

Longoni joined Civil Protection in 1989, and retrained again in 2009 through the National Alpini Association, which supports the Civil Protection Department with many volunteers who have the same aim of helping people in exceptional situations.

He was recruited into a specialist telecommunications squad given his experience at Pirelli Cavi and later at Prysmian Group. He has been sent to help out in many areas, such during as the most recent earthquakes in central Italy in 2016 and 2017.

As for the Cernusco Lombardone team -- which is part of the Alessandro Merlini nucleus of the National Association of Alpini - Lecco Section -- after an intense experience at the Alpini field hospital in Bergamo during the second Covid-19 pandemic epidemic, things have started to calm down. One of their most recent tasks was to protect people during the weekend mass with other members of the Alpini Group.

The team’s big project is to create a specialist group dedicated to using drones for surveillance. These flying robots equipped with heat-seeking cameras could be useful for finding dispersed persons, or dealing with evacuations, Longoni explains.

“It’s still not yet recognized at a national level, but I’m working to get permission,” he says.