If you live in Barcelona, chances are you’ve seen some of the city’s fire department buildings or firefighters at some point. While the local fire brigade might sometimes go unnoticed when there’s no apparent emergency nearby, they’re constantly working behind the scenes to keep the city safe and prevent possible accidents. Here’s a little more background information on the Bombers de Barcelona and a few reasons why they’re so important to everyday life in the city.
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The Bombers de Barcelona are the local firefighters of the city that were established by the Council of Barcelona for improving safety conditions and, of course, putting out fires. The history of the current Barcelona fire brigade goes all the way back to 1865 when a community of firefighters was established in Barcelona. Eventually, this small community developed into the team of firefighters that protects Barcelona’s residents and visitors today.
The Bombers de Barcelona have fought some of the worst fires in Barcelona’s history, including the Great Fire of 1861 that destroyed the Gran Teatre del Liceu, fires that occurred in the city during the Spanish Civil War between 1936 and 1939, and the 2001 fire at Mercat de les Flors. Most recently, they formed a major part of the emergency response team in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on la Rambla in August of 2017.
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While the Bombers de Barcelona are most often associated with putting out fires, they actually take on far more roles in the city. They help people in danger, rescue animals, and provide the important service of prevention education and services. In order to prevent accidents in the city, their duties include performing safety inspections, educating the public about accident avoidance and ways to prevent fires, and giving technical assistance when requested. Furthermore, they assess school emergency plans, visit schools in Barcelona to give special presentations on fire safety, and offer training courses and workshops on fire prevention and extinguishing for business and institutions.
Fire Prevention and Civil Defense
As part of their prevention education program, the Bombers de Barcelona provide the city’s residents with tons of useful information on the best ways to avoid any possible accidents. This includes information on how to prevent fires, what to do in the event of a fire, safety inside highway tunnels, firework safety, and what to do when faced with natural or industrial hazards. A large portion of their website is dedicated to educating the public in all of these areas.
In addition to work with fire prevention, civil defense is another main duty of Barcelona’s fire brigade. This includes protecting the population of Barcelona from any hazards or accidents that may be caused by companies in the city, particularly from companies in the chemical industry. They also work to protect the city from dangers that may arise from other risks such as the transportation of hazardous goods or gatherings of large groups of people for a celebration or special event.
While they aren’t always noticed in everyday life, the Bombers de Barcelona are always working for the people of Barcelona. Whether putting out fires, educating residents on fire prevention, or reducing the risk of accidents occurring in the city, the fire brigade is committed to keeping all of Barcelona safe and looked after around the clock.
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*Main photo by Fotomovimiento via Visualhunt