Biscay Territorial Council and Port Authority of Bilbao have just renewed collaboration agreement whereby Council fire brigade will continue as an intervention group in the Port to respond to possible emergency situations in its facilities.
The Port Authority of Bilbao and the Territorial Council of Biscay have renewed for a further four years their collaboration agreement whereby the Council’s Firefighting and Salvage Service will continue to respond to emergency situations produced in the Port’s facilities, including vessels, with an assignment of 1.2 million euros from the Port Authority. This amount will be transferred to the Council in four yearly payments which will increase from 240,000 to 300,000 euros with regard to the previous agreement.
Thus the Biscay fire brigade forms an intervention group in the Port of Bilbao dealing with fires and accidents produced inside the Port area, as well as assuming self-protection functions for risk-prevention, alarm, evacuation and assistance actions, in addition to fire extinction, rescue, salvage and overhaul of essential services.
The brigade will also collaborate with the Port Authority in the investigation and analysis of accidents, as well as in the carrying out of fire prevention projects and reports on new works or reforms in facilities, and will organise joint training and fire drill manoeuvres. In addition, in accordance with current legislation, there will a squad of 3 drivers, with the necessary technical means, on duty when dangerous goods are loaded and discharged.
Bearing in mind the peculiarity of the Port, the Port Authority is committed to providing the Biscay Territorial Council fire brigade with the technical equipment and specific training for its interventions in possible accidents there.
The Territorial Council of Biscay’s Firefighting and Salvage Service has three of its eight stations in the Port of Bilbao’s service zone – Artaza (Leioa), Basauri and Urioste (Ortuella), which together with the many access possibilities, especially from Urioste, allows an ideal response to emergencies in the Port facilities.
As a result of this agreement, the Port of Bilbao is at the head of the Spanish Port System in terms of its capacity to respond to possible disasters originating from dangerous goods.
Collaborating for 21 years
Since 1996, the Territorial Council of Biscay and the Port Authority of Bilbao have been working jointly on this matter by way of different collaboration agreements which have reinforced safety in the Port Authority’s competence. Given the excellent results of their joint efforts, both entities have signed this new agreement applicable for the next four years.
During the last two agreements the Port Authority has equipped the Territorial Council of Biscay’s Firefighting and Salvage Service with an intervention container adapted and dedicated to chemical emergencies; an engine with a crane; an emergency generator; a bilge pump and fork lift truck capable of acting in explosive atmospheres; a light fire vehicle equipped for emergency chemical interventions; a mobile container with a two-kilometre long hose; a Rolltrailer for gathering leaks from dangerous container goods; 440 firefighting outfits whose design and features were carried out according to the opinions of the Council firefighters themselves; a state-of-the-art heavy duty fire vehicle and a virtual reality simulator for training.