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Formentera fire brigade responded in 47 fires in 2016

Foto camió bombersIn an appraisal of the local firefighting crew’s work over the previous year made public today by the Formentera Council president’s office, department head Bartomeu Escandell saluted workers on a job well done and highlighted “twelve months without big wildfires”. In 2016 firefighters put out 47 fires, a figure that represented a year-on-year increase of twelve and reflected blazes that, on the whole, occurred in forested areas. In total, the fire crew was called into duty 136 times –nine more than in 2015– to fight back flames or oversee other interventions, including preventive work.

Espalmador fire
Councillor Escandell recalled a blaze that broke out last summer on the island of Espalmador as one of the year’s most dangerous. He said that wildfire’s quick taming was “thanks to the rapid response of local firefighters, regional forest crews (Ibanat) and other volunteers”. Formentera’s fire brigade, a six-person team, has got two pick-up trucks and two water pumps on hand. Escandell also pointed out the administration’s recent acquisition of an additional rapid response vehicle aimed at promoting even swifter action and more efficient wildfire prevention.

Escandell underscored the importance of help from Ibanat, Formentera’s civil protection force, Guardia Civil and the local police in addition to assistance from volunteers and water delivery firms that made use of their equipment available to firefighters as necessary. The Formentera Council sponsors wildfire risk awareness outreach in an effort to show, in Escandell’s words, “that even little steps –not tossing cigarette ends out windows, for example– can be effective in preventing tragedies in the Balearics”.

Formentera to christen new plenary hall

foto consell premsaIn accordance with a proposal unanimously adopted during plenary debate on the state of the island last year, the president's office of the Formentera Council has announced that the administration no longer hold plenary sessions in the hall used heretofore and located in the Council's central offices at Sant Francesc's plaça de la Constitució. Instead, forthcoming meetings will take place in the so-called Màgic Box, next to the Formentera Day Centre.

Updates in access and IT
The change is associated with several improvements, like wheelchair-accessibility and three reduced-mobility parking spaces  at the adjacent car park. Capacity at the new hall is for some 60 audience members.

There are also technical improvements associated with the location swap. In addition to a recording system allowing video and audio of proceedings at the Màgic Box, members of the press will have access to IT and electricity plugs.

Likewise, new furniture will provide personal network connections and power plugs for the administration's 17 councillors and one member of parliament. Individual microphones will also be included at each official's seat for debate sessions.

Work at the site is already under way and it is projected that the first plenary of 2017 will be held there. The project has a cost of approximately 55,000 euros.

New vehicle promises to help CiF firefirefighters cut response times

Foto presentació pick upThe president's office of the Formentera Council (CiF) has recently added a pickup truck to the local fire brigade's fleet of motor vehicles. Department head Bartomeu Escandell and brigade chief Iván Marí spoke about the rapid response machine in a presentation that took place this morning in plaça de la Constitució.

Escandell projected the new acquisition would shorten response times and provide increased accessibility in emergency situations, a factor that is especially significant since hard to reach locations abound on the island. The truck was purchased for fifty thousand euros. The fire brigade's fleet includes two fire engines with mounted water pumps and one additional rapid response vehicle.

Formentera fire crew tames flames of warehouse fire at industrial park

incendi polígon industrialThe Formentera fire brigade extinguished a blaze in the early hours of the morning at Formentera’s industrial park. Firefighters, who received notice of the fire at 12.02am and arrived on the scene nine minutes later, had the flames under control by 12.55am. The fire was declared fully extinguished at 3.00am. The response team, besides a four-person crew of Council firefighters operating a fire engine, included civil protection volunteers, an ambulance team and employees of the Guardia Civil.

The fire broke out in a garage at the Sant Francesc industrial park. An estimated 250 square metres were reported burned, including equipment, a van, an office space and a storage area located on an upper storey of the warehouse. The fire crew said that a carpenter’s shop and storage space adjacent to the warehouse suffered smoke damage. The cause of the fire is as yet unknown. The Guardia Civil is investigating.

Council extends parting gift to Sevilla team

foto entrega sevilla fcIn a show of appreciation for the team's visit to Formentera, CiF president Jaume Ferrer extended a gift to Sevilla F.C.'s president José Castro. The gesture came on the back of last Wednesday's Copa del Rey round of 32 fixture, held on the island, which saw Castro's Sevillistas facing off against S.D. Formentera. The gift —a carved piece of savin juniper engraved with a silver-embossed image of the island, a compass rose and waves— bears a small plaque that reads marked with the date, November 30, 2016, of the occasion. Crafted by local artisans Jordi Peñaranda and Mamaplata Formentera, the offering will take its place in the Andalusian club's trophy cabinet.

Ferrer voiced thanks to Formentera locals for their warm welcome of the team and its supporters as well as the exemplary conduct of Formenterencs —not to mention fans from places like Eivissa— at a face-off which is already being qualified as historic. Trumpeting reviews qualifying the event's organisation as “excellent,” the Council president commented: “This is our first time hosting a match with a premiere club and I'm extremely proud of the way our residents have carried themselves.”

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