FIREFIGHTER
PROFESIONAL FIREFIGHTER

Once I got my degree I had my mind made up, I wanted to be a firefighter! During my summer holidays, while studying I would take part in the summer forest prevention campaigns. In Sabadell, Vic or Torello I would live the life of a firefighter in summer, not only going to put out fires, but going with them to any kind of service they had to attend in order to learn as much as possible, even though I couldn’t take part actively. After 3 tries at the entry examination I finally made it and became the 5th woman to be a professional firefighter, in a corpse that now has over 3000 members.

In 2007 she decided to try to get into the elite GRAE (Special activities Support Group, is the local equivalent to a search and rescue firefighter). After the written exam, and many physical exams, she finally landed a place that introduced her to the world of mountain rescues as a specialist professional firefighter. Since then she lives and works for the mountain and is totally happy about it, although some of the helicopter rides she’d rather forget.

WHAT DO FIREFIGHTERS DO?

Local laws give the Generalitat de Catalunya exclusive jurisdiction on all mountains, protected natural spaces and forest services, in civil protection and order. The Generalitat firefighter core, with more than 5000 men and woman, takes care of all fire prevention and extinction aspects, as well as the search and rescue in all the Catalan territory except the city of Barcelona, which has its own local firefighters.

The Generalitat firefighters take part in all kinds of emergencies; Fires in private homes, factories, warehouses or in forests, building cave-ins, they take part in rescues in the most diverse environments such as mountains, open water, lakes, rivers, private homes, floods, car wrecks, train wrecks, etc. They also take part in active prevention, not only to minimize the possibility of an accident, but to be prepared in case one happens.

WHAT DO THE GRAE DO?

The GRAE (Special activities Support Group) is a group of firefighters of the Generalitat de Catalunya that specializes in rescues at locations that are difficult to access such as rock climbing routes, via ferratas, spelunking caves, ravines, etc. This group has professional teams in Bellaterra, La Seu d’Urgell and Olot, and volunteer teams in Puebla, Camprodon and Vielha.

They have two Eurocopter EC135 helicopters painted yellow that carry the Generalitat coat of arms. Inside the core, there call signs are H03 and H05. When they communicate via the air navigation frequencies there call signs are “Bombers 03” and “Bombers 05”: They both carry a crane installed on there left door.

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