Fire stations of the world: Montjuic Fire Station, Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona’s ‘new’ Montjuïc Fire Station was built in 2011 with a floor area of 3 000m2. The new building was designed by architects Manuel Ruisánchez arquitecto and is located against the mountainside on the corner of Josep Carner Avenue and Paseo de Montjuïc in Barcelona, Spain. Bombers de Barcelona, the Fire Brigade of Barcelona, is responsible for responding to all emergency incidents in the city, through the cover provided by six fully operational fire stations with full station turnout and a volunteer station. The Barcelona City Council took control of the fire service in 1839. The service consists of seven stations and 425 fire fighters and officers. Each fire station is self-sufficient in terms of carrying out a full station turnout, without any need for reinforcements. Of the six fire stations that are open 365 days a year, five of them have a standard pool of vehicles that carry out fire, rescue and technical assistance services autonomously.
Barcelona, the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, is known for its art and architecture and is home to around 4,8 million people, 1 620 343 people living in the 102,2m2 city, making it the fifth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, the Ruhr area, Madrid and Milan. The city’s average population density is 15 926 inhabitants per square kilometre. The origin of the earliest settlement at the site of present-day Barcelona is unclear. The ruins of an early settlement have been found, including different tombs and dwellings dating to earlier than 5000 BC.
The new Montjuïc Fire Station is located on the site resulting from the confluence of a main avenue (Josep Carner Avenue), a side street (Paseo de Montjuïc) and the mountainside. The building is placed in parallel to the avenue recognising its importance as the entry and exit to and from the city. With a clear horizontal position, highlighted by the 100m-long concrete volume of the first floor, the body of the training tower becomes the only vertical counterpoint, which allows maintaining the reference of the mountain of Montjuïc at all times. The articulation of the functional programmes is carried out by distinguishing between the components related to the activity of the fire department, located at street level, and those related to the residential and leisure, located on the first floor.
Since its foundation at the start of the 19th Century, Bombers de Barcelona (Barcelona Fire Service) has played an active part in the City of Barcelona, carrying out a commendable task of helping and supporting city residents. The creation of the service was based on the need to extinguish fires in urban areas. By applying the most advanced technologies available in each era and using the most modern tools, it has evolved at the same rhythm as society, to which it has always devoted its efforts and dedication. Its ties to Barcelona have been highlighted by the bitter memories of numerous historical episodes in the city, including three significant events: Tragic Week, the Spanish Civil War and the Liceu Opera House fires.
The Barcelona Fire Service is resourced to carry out the following activities:
Training of intervention personnel
In order to plan training actions for intervention personnel, a study of their training needs in various areas is carried out:
Training of technical personnel
The Service’s technicians have to receive the necessary training so that they are familiar with the regulations issued by the Directorate for construction products and the transposition of European regulations to UNE/EN regulations. Technician training aims to cover the needs of their posts and update their knowledge of regulations in their various fields.
Training of administrative support personnel
All Fire Service departments need the support of administrative personnel. The training of this group aims to cover their needs, so that they can carry out their professional tasks with the greatest possible efficiency. The respective heads of administrative personnel detect the training needs of their subordinates in order to improve their work, as well as communications between the various levels (IT knowledge, interpersonal skills, etc.).
Training of other personnel
Personnel belonging to various departments not associated with intervention must receive the necessary training to carry out their assigned tasks.
Sources: Bombers de Barcelona, Ruisánchez Arquitectes, Arch Daily
Photographs: Ferran Mateo