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.

S. XIV-XVIII
S. XIX
1900 - 35
1935 - 75
1975 - 95
1995 - 2006
2007 - 2010
2011-2018

1379

25th December, the great fire of de Santa Maria del Mar church, the first reported (Bruniquer rubriques).

1391

August, volunteer brigades extinguish the fires from disputes with the Jews, which occurred throughout Spain.

1439

February, we put out a fire at the convent of Sant Francesc d'Assís.

1606

March, great fire of the plaça de la Llana, which took up to and all of Easter Sunday to put out.

1608

April, the Barcelona Councillors claim, for the first time (although there are documents still surviving) to make an announcement to all bricklayers and carpenters to put out a large fire at the Customs House (currently Palau Reial).

1640

June, festival of Corpus Christi (Day of the followers) when a restless mob want to burn the many officials and royal functionaries' houses.

1652

Intense bombardments on behalf of Felip IV on the city of Barcelona by Louis XIII of France.

1705

September, War of Succession of Archduke Carlos. Barcelona is repeatedly bombarded by the allies.

1716

Following the surrender of Barcelona, under Felipe V, after the War of Succession of September 1714, the Captain General of Catalonia Marquès de Castel Rodrigo, publicises (1716) a decree to renew the order to oblige, in the event of a fire, all churches in the district to ring their bells to warn the locals , bricklayers and carpenters, so that they can go to the fire or else be fined. If it was a large fire and is dangerous, the army has to attend the fire as well.

1718

Law of the RC of 13th October 1718 (the Nova Planta Decree) councillors are obliged to attend fires. Also they are going to change their name to Ministers.

1778

Following a fire in Zaragoza, the first State law is published obliging all local authorities to make doors open outwards, in the direction of the exit. Therefore, together with other rules, we could say that the principle of prevention is beginning.

1825

The Company of Firemen is constituted with 25 men on the orders of the municipal architect.

1833

After passing the Rule Of Functioning, the Captain General Manuel Llauder nominates the municipal architect, Josep Mas i Vila, as head of the Company of Firemen, therefore the first head of the Fire Service (then, known as the Society of Mutual Insurance).

1835

Large disturbances attributed to the Carlists begin at the Plaça de braus in Barceloneta, ending in a large number of buildings being burned down. Five religious convents are also burned down.

1839

The Council organises the company of firemen.

1840

Steam engines are introduced in Barcelona, considerably increasing the number of fires.

1842

Barcelona is bombarded by General Espartero.

1845

The management of the company is shared, having two heads, one nominated by the Mutual and the other by the council.

1861

9th April, the great fire that completely destroys the Gran Teatre del Liceu. The intense fire completely destroys the building within three hours.

1865

Barcelona now has 200,000 inhabitants, the Fire Brigade is to come under council control.

1877

March, a fire in Hospital St kills Subaltern Joan Klein i Noriega, first official victim documented by the Fire Service. A steam pump is bought from Merryweather (London).

1883

Acquisition of the Porta ladder, an Italian 22 metre ladder, the first of such to be acquired by the Fire Brigade.

1888

First Universal Exposition of Barcelona, bringing a qualitative improvement in many ways, including the acquisition of different steam pumps and the improvements in fire fighting installations in the road network (fire hydrants).

1892

The larger the city, the better the Fire Service's material becomes and three emergency vehicles are acquired from Leon-Renault in Paris (now in the Fire Service museum). The Fire Brigade receive their flag from the mayor of Barcelona, Manuel Porcar i Tió.

1893

The Barcelona Fire Service go to Santander to the fire of Vapour Cabo Machichaco which causes many deaths and destroys many houses.

1906

June, the Teatre de les Arts in Floridablanca St burns down.

1907

First mechanical traction vehicle, a lorry from Durkopp & Co of Bielefeld (Germany).

1908

August, important fire which destroys the Teatre Principal de Gràcia.

1909

27th August, revolutionaries burn down the parish church of Sant Pau, the Escoles Pies building, the Jeronimes convent, the churches of Sant Cugat and Santa Madrona, among others, in what has become to be known as the Tragic Week.

1910

Acquisition of the first Hispano-Suiza, which will be in service until the end of 1932.

1915

November, fire at the Teatre Principal de la Santa Creu in the Rambla.

1917

Acquisition of 5 Ford 18HP Fords...

1922

In a large modernisation of the service, the Barcelona Fire Service buys Delahaye vehicles, currently preserved in very good condition in the Fire Service Museum, which annually participates in the Reis cavalcade and the Sitges Rally. The vehicle is affectionately known as "Genoveva".

1924

May, the Nuevo Vulcano workshops burn down, an important fire attended by the King and the President of the Military Council, Primo de Rivera. Also a train derailment at Les Planes, with 13 dead and many injured.

1927

Modernising, the Service acquires vehicles at a cost of 623,000 ptas.

1928

The emergency numbers change, the Fire Service changes from 3000 to 12345.

1929

June, as part of the Universal Exposition there is an important parade on the Passeig de Gràcia to Alfons XIII St (today Diagonal), attended by important people such as the Honourable President Macià and the Captain General of Catalonia Emili Barrera,the Civil Governor Milans del Bosch, the President of the Council Comte de Montseny and the mayor of Barcelona Baró de Viver. In October the parade is repeated attended by King Alfons XIII and his children.

1932

December, during Republican times the El Siglo shops burn down, an event that was followed intently by the people and press of Barcelona because of their popularity. What is known as the Central Station or rather the Park de l'Eixample is built.

1933

The Teatre Principal de la Santa Creu burns down again, the fire destroys the whole of the interior, the building is saved.

1936

July, this era, before and after are marked by a national uprising and the Spanish Civil War ending in 1939. During this month there are many call-outs to churches and convents, attacks, sabotages etc.

1937

February 13th, first shelling of the city of Barcelona. 16th March the city suffers its first aerial bombardment, continuing for the next few months.

1938

January, March. During these months the bombardments are very intense (70 in January and 103 in March).

1946

Creation of the Cultural and Sporting Group of the Fire Service, popularly known as "La Cultural".

1949

First issue of the magazine Alarma.

1961

Fire at the Palau del Cinema on Via Laietana on Easter Sunday.

1962

Large floods produce a lot of damage. During the winter heaviest snowfalls ever recorded in Barcelona.

1963

Very spectacular fire at the Myrurgia factory. In September a fire at a plastics factory on Rector Triadó St killing two firemen.

1969

The Barcelona Fire Service attends an explosion at the Repesa petroleum deposit, where 167,000 metric tonnes of petrol burns.

1970

Fire at Radio, killing three firemen.

1972

March, gas explosion on Capità Arenas St causing the collapse of a storey building and the death of 14 people.

1973

June, spectacular fire at the Torre Telefònica in Plaça de Catalunya.

1974

A fire in les Tàpies St killing 16 people, the ferocity of the fire was so great that it is feared that it will spread throughout the whole district of Raval. In the same year a fireman is killed during the Montjuïc motorcycle race. Accident at the Virrei Amat underground station, more than 200 people injured.

1976

Spectacular rescue of people trapped in the Torre de Colom, when the lift breaks down. The Fire Brigade is militarised because of a strike.

1978

Fire destroys one the most emblematic places in Barcelona, l'Escala.

1980

Opening of the Fire Laboratory of the Barcelona Fire Service.

1981

June, spectacular and destructive fire in the city centre, burning down the Àliga shops.

1983

For the first time, the Barcelona Fire Service reaches more than 10,000 call-outs.

1987

May, fire at the Sarrià Hotel, with the death of one fireman. June, ETA attacks at Hipercor, in total 25 people die and many more seriously injured. Also this year, the fire and total collapse of the Duarry factory is highlighted because of its importance.

1990

November, because of the collapse of the Turó de la Peira St, the city fire service receives the first call out on what will come to be considered as the first case of aluminises. December , gas explosion in Comte Borrell St. Affects three blocks of flats and despite its spectacular nature and size, only three people are killed.

1991

A remarkable year with more than 15,000 call-outs by the citizens of Barcelona.

1993

October, large fire, because of its size and height and because the construction material at the Autopistes de la Galla Placídia building.

1994

Large fire which, as in previous years, results in the destruction of the Liceu theatre.

1995

22.04: Fire at the DUSCHOLUX factory. Fireman Antonio Redondo dies.

1996

Fire in the container ship Vento di Scirocco..
19.07: Explosion at the REPSOL bottling plant with one fatality.

1997

27.01: Fire in the Torre Urquinaona building (22-storey tower block).

1998

With Antoni Clavero as fire chief, change of name from Extinction and Rescue Services (SEIS) to Prevention, Extinction and Rescue Services (SPEIS) to show a clear commitment to prevention.

1999

1st firemen's race "Cursa de Bombers" in Barcelona.

2000

Inauguration of the Vall d'Hebron fire station. Closing of the Poble Sec (Carrer Lleida) fire station and the "Fire Laboratory".

2001

21.04: Terrible fire at the Mercat de les Flors.
June. First issue of the magazine Fahrenheit 451.

2002

30.01: Explosion on Carrer Eduard Toda, with the collapse of a four-storey building, three fatalities and damage to neighbouring buildings.
25.06: Fire on the ship LAMU with one fatality.

2003

World Police and Fire Games. Inauguration of the Llevant Fire Station.

2004

Integration of the Prevention Division of Barcelona Fire Brigade and Civil Defence.
31.09: Collision in the underground with one person (the driver) trapped.

2005

27.01: Subsidence in the Carmel district leaving a hole 20 metres wide and 25 metres deep.

2006

Joint emergency headquarters set up in Barcelona with the Guardia Urbana and Mossos d'Esquadra.
Josep Maria Jordan, Fire Chief from 1962 to 1981, dies.

2007

Vehicles incorporate GPS trackers.
Barcelona plays host to the World Rescue Challenger.

2008

Government's approval of retirement age at 60.
Chemical leak at Moll del Morrot wharf.

2009

Laying of first stone for the future Montjuïc fire station.
The new Fire Fighters Master Plan is launched.

2010

The provisional Eixample fire station goes into operation, the Eixample station closes and the Zona Franca opens new classrooms and practice range.
Fire fighter Josep Garrido dies while rescuing a child in La Verneda.
Inauguration of the new FPERS newsletter in PDF as an internal communication tool.
New Fire Tunnel located in the Zona Franca Fire Station.
SEM is integrated with Joint Emergencies Coordination Room.
Agreement with the Catalan government's Fire Brigade.
In January 2010, the provisional Eixample fire station is moved to the Joan Miró fire station.
The City Council classifies the Fire Brigade's historical heritage. The Area launches a comprehensive museum project on prevention and safety issues.

2011

Fire Fighters take part in the New York World Police and Fire Games.
10th anniversary of the 11 September attacks in New York.
The new Montjuïc Fire Station goes into operation.
New I-mobile incident communication and management system is incorporated into the Fire Brigade’s vehicles.
K7, the new container specialising in large-scale accidents.
Tenth anniversary of the magazine Fahrenheit 451. It becomes a digital publication in 2012.

2012

Ceremony paying homage to the retired fire fighter Pere Senserrich to mark his centenary.
Drastic fall in number of interventions in 2011. The activity is maintained through operational prevention initiatives.
Josep Maria Fontclara, the Fire Brigade's new director. He replaced Joan Pedreny, who signed up as assistant director of FPERS.
FPERS is the only municipal force to create job vacancies. It incorporates 30 new officers.

2013

Fire Brigade reclaims the Poble-sec Fire Station, where the Fire Prevention Station is to be located.
The offices of the Fire Brigade's Directors are moved to Carrer de la Guàrdia Urbana.
The patron-saint festival is held jointly, for the first time, between the City Hall and the Llevant fire station.
Manel Pardo, the new director of FPERS. He is committed to ongoing training for fire fighters.
Fire fighters reprise the internal vehicle-extrication contest.

2014

The FPERS is rejuvenated. 60 fire fighters and officers join the Brigade.
The FPERS command structure is reorganised.
The new Master Plan is approved in 2014, detailing the Brigade’s goals up to 2025. Preventive work is boosted to cut the number of emergencies occurring in the city.
The Fire Brigade is put in charge of managing emergencies in Barcelona.
The Master Plan determines the competencies in the areas of preventions, civil protection, operations and interventions and for internal management and quality control.
Improvements to the quality charter’s standards. 90% of the emergency services reach the incident in under 10 minutes.

2015

Building work on the Prevention Station begins. It will have an area of 1,433 m2 and four floors to house the Museu de Bombers [Fire Brigade Museum], training classes, meeting centres and display area.
Building work on the Prevention Classroom at the Vall d’Hebron Fire Station, training classroom for the very young, an exhibition space and the Casa del Foc. The Area's archives too.
In just over a year, @BCN_Bombers, FPERS’ official Twitter account, has managed to attract over 2,500 followers. (more than 400 tweets, photos and videos).

2016

Corporate values map: public service, safety, preparation, mainstreaming, local approach, loyalty and commitment. Creation of the first code of ethics.
The Mayor visits Montjuïc Fire Station in October.
50 issues of the magazine Fahrenheit 451, which have been published without interruption since 2001.
New SISCOM command system.
First 100% electric vehicle in the Fire Brigade.
Official opening of the Espai Bombers Prevention Station.

2017

59 new fire fighters.
FPERS makes its debut in the Teaching Hall.
'We're close to the elderly' programme is launched: safety and prevention advice for 250,000 elderly people.
The Merryweather pump is restored.
Fire fighters at the conclusion of the 18th SES day event at the Parc del Fòrum.
Espai Bombers, the recipient of the Catalunya Construcció Awards for 2017.
Fire fighters with prevention and early detection of energy poverty.
Decisive Fire Fighters intervention during the 17 August terrorist attacks in Barcelona.
FPERS receives the Gold Medal for Civic Merit from the City Council and the Catalan Parliament awards it the Medal of Honour.
Espai Bombers joins up with the Barcelona 48 hrs Open House.
The 'Vespres vora el foc' cycle begins.

2018

Espai Bombers attends to close to 18,000 visitors in its first year.
Urban rescue from heights courses.
Very positive assessment from social networks.
Homage is paid to Fire Fighters killed in action.
Barcelona Fire Brigade plaque of values.
The most important internal promotions and public recruitment for the last 20 years.
The Fire Fighters Fun Run turns 20.
18 new vehicles for the FPERS fleet.
'Fire fighters and steam pumps', a new exhibition on at the Espai Bombers.
The number of technical staff is expanded.
Presentation of Sebastià Massagué, the new director of FPERS, and Àngel López, the new head of the Operations Division.
Fire Fighters taking part in the first large-scale emergencies coordination course.