Visit to the Municipal Fire Station in Funchal

Dec 19, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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The group went to visit the local Municipal Fire Station in Funchal to the North of Dolce Vita.

This was a very interesting visit. Chief Samuel, one of the shift leaders with many years of experience, showed us the station and the cars and gave us honest answers to a lot of prickly questions.

The highlights:

The team has 137 staff (it should have 140)

26 persons are always on call on 12 hour shifts.

The response time is very quick, especially if you do not call 112 (officially what you have to do) but directly to them (291 200930).

The city is divided into two parts:

West: Municipal Bombeiros,

East: Voluntary Bombeiros, but if there is a fire in the Zone Velha or around the Cathedral, both units always respond.

The staff have a gym, a canteen (most bring their own food) , a multi-purpose room with internet and sleeping quarters.

A regular fireman/woman earns around 600-700€ month, a Chief around 1100€ (they say, brut, less taxes…)

Nothing much may happen in a shift but they have to be alert. Tension is palpable in the building and the courtyard.

The equipment:

There is never enough money around to have the best equipment and maintenance but this is a complaint every Fire Station in the world voices. The FNC Volunteers have worse equipment, though.

A lot of equipment is bought from Germany. The base of the cars may be coming from Mercedes but the top is built by a Portuguese company, Jacinto. They are very good at custom building fire equipment and sell their fire engines all over Europe. (Land Rovers are not the favourite Fireman car, they are being replaced over time.)

There are smaller cars to check out a situation – the Fire Chief has always to be there first.

They have one car to free people trapped in cars – this is the worst job they have to do

Ladder cars:

We have the biggest ladder in Portugal (55m) this is the second biggest ladder in Europe. Think of hotels like Pestana Carlton…

There are regular Fire Trainings in the hotels for the firemen by the Fire Departments. These trainings serve also to check the pipes and hydrants. All hotels have to have an internal “first response” Fire Team.

Water tanks:

All cars have water tanks of various sizes, the biggest contains 32000 l water (all hydrant water is fresh water)

They also come with foam which is very effective but expensive. The Station has a tank of 1000 l foam.

The pipes are surprisingly slim; water pumps can be taken out by hand to be placed where they can be connected to external water supplies.

The Station also has a training tower to train for high-rise fires. The staff has lot of training sessions to keep them in shape and respond to new situations or regulation.


They have ambulances just for emergencies; the Volunteers and other services (Red Cross) take care of non-urgent transports. In the time we were there, the ambulances moved out twice. – no fire alarms.


E., with his dire experience in Monte last year, spoke about the shortcomings during the situation (hydrants blocked, lagoon water not used, no help from the fire department) Chief Samuel acknowledged this.

Chief Samuel confirmed that there was an order to save the Monte Church – nowadays; such an order could not be imposed on the Firemen anymore.

On February 20, 2010, contrary to the rumours, only 42 persons died, and nobody drowned in the underground parking garages.

The Fire Department has its own water gauge in the mountains so that they know when a flood can be expected downtown.

In Dolce Vita, the order was to evacuate the parking, and people tried to take out their cars but the “guards” wouldn’t open the gates without payment so more cars were rendered unusable

We gave Chief Samuel our Fire Manual.












57 ToBinG Madeira Consorcio Meeting 17.4.2014 EXCERPT

May 1, 2014 at 11:32 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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57 Reunião Madeira Consorcio (ToBinG ) 17.4.2014   – English version below

Tivemos uma reunião pequena, mas um muito interessante como nos reunimos com Olga. Ela é uma jovem de Moldova, trabalhando no mercado imobiliário e investimentos (principalmente com clientes russos). Ela também trabalha em um projeto de arte muito viva na Madeira, que entre outras coisas, trabalha com a Casa das Mudas. Você vai tudo gostar dela, tem muito otimismo!

As notícias:
O Diaro vai publicar o Manual de fogo novamente antes do final do mês; também podiamos imprimir folhetos (240 euro/5000 prints ), mas não temos o OK ainda do Continente ou Pingo Doce, assim não vai em frente.

U tinha uma segunda idéia para a cesta, mas novamente os tecelões estão céticos de que eles podem produzir. U vai a Camacha novamente depois de seu retorno do Algarve (30 Abril) .

Projeto DV U contactado um intermediário para os investidores mas ainda não está claro se eles podem ajudar. E sugeriu que olhamos para o financiamento público (crowd funding) para isso, mas U é cético de que poderíamos obter fundos suficientes para um projeto na Ilha da Madeira. Também falou sobre o IVA e uma maneira de reduzi-lo. U escreveu a uma autoridade de Educação, mas adivinhem: eles não responderam, deve haver uma redução na VAT se o projeto também visa escolas. E sugeriu trocar bilhetes gratuitos para crianças em idade escolar contra o IVA normal. Primeiro a pessoa no Governo responsável tem de responder.

A Peticao Publica em relação ao subsídio de vôo ilha não conseguiu obter 4000 assinaturas até agora, parece que ot não foi publicado o suficiente e está a falhar.

D & P  nos enviaram um link interessante sobre um parecer positivo sobre a ilha da Madeira aqui está:

E escreveu um artigo interessante sobre o absurdo
de homens e mulheres – usando saltos altos :

VER O TEXTO ORIGINAL em ingles (em baixo)

Nossa próxima reunião será para Agricultura, em Maio 

ToBinG Madeira Consorcio Meeting 17.4.2014

We had a small meeting but a very interesting one as we met with Olga. She is a young girl from Moldova, working in real estate and investments (mainly with Russian clients). She also works on a very lively art project in Madeira which among other things, works with the Casa das Mudas. You will all like her, she has plenty of optimism!

The news:

The Diaro will publish the Fire Manual again before the end of the month;we can also print leaflets (240 euro/5000 prints) but we do not have the OK yet from Continente or Pingo Doce, so No Go yet.

U had a second idea for the basket but again the weavers are sceptical that they can produce it. U will go up to Camacha again after her return from the Algarve (30.4.2014).

DV project U contacted an intermediary for investors but it is not clear yet if they can help. E suggested that we look at crowd funding for this but U is sceptical that we could get enough funds for a project on Madeira island. We also spoke about the VAT and a way to reduce it. U wrote to a Education authority but guess what: they didn’t answer, There should be a reduction in VAT if the project is also aimed at schools. E suggested to swap free tickets for school children against the normal VAT. First the Govt person in charge has to answer.

The Peticao Publica in regards to the island flight subsidy failed to get 4000 signatures so far, looks like ot has not been published enough and is failing.

D & P sent us an interesting link about a positive opinion on Madeira island, here it is:


E wrote an interesting piece about the absurdity of women and men – using high heels:

What are your views on high heels?

I tried to put together my thoughts on this matter…

Men were the first sex to wear heels. They were adopted by the European aristocracy of the 1600s as a signal of status. High heels were purposefully impractical footwear. One of the best ways that status could then be conveyed was through impracticality, hence the upper classes have always used impractical, uncomfortable and luxurious clothing to announce their privileged status. They aren’t in the fields working and they don’t have to walk far. Likewise in the muddy, rutted streets of 17th Century Europe, these new shoes had no utility value whatsoever – but that was the point. Interestingly, this was the same logic that encouraged footbinding in China.
European women later started wearing heels as a way of trying to appropriate masculine power. (This, by the way, is exactly what happened with cheerleading – when a personality approves and takes lead applauding a spectacle; originally an initiative exclusively reserved for men). In the BBC article on the topic, Elizabeth Semmelhack, who curates a shoe museum, explains: “In the 1630s you had women cutting their hair, adding epaulettes to their outfits… They would smoke pipes, they would wear hats that were very masculine. And this is why women adopted the heel — it was in an effort to masculinise their outfits.”

Eventually men quit wearing heels because their association with women tainted their power as a status symbol for men. High heels were seen as foolish and effeminate. By 1740 men had stopped wearing them altogether. But it was only 50 years before they disappeared from women’s feet too, falling out of favour after the French Revolution. With the Enlightenment, which emphasized rationality (i.e., practical footwear), everyone quit wearing high heels. What then brought heels back for women? According to Lisa Wade, a professor of sociology at Occidental College, Pornography in the Mid-nineteenth century became notorious by posing female nudes in high heels.

We are entering the era of nano-chemistry, of micro-vegetables, of artificial intelligence, of voice-commanded devices, of robotics, of cybernetics, of genetic engineering, of Amazon-drone deliveries, of ergonomics, indeed of galactic expeditions (as NASA announced their plans to recruit astronauts candidates to explore Mars!)
Yet, amidst such momentum of anthropologic revolution, I find mind-boggling that human beings in the XXI century should still permit such 17th century excuses dictate their social behavior. It is not acceptable that evolved women allow themselves into such cultural trap, rendering their gender inherently so susceptible, in fact physically limited or dysfunctional. Not only is it anachronic that a human being should still wear high heels, but also a paradox! I found the very same primates who hire the best Pilates Personal Trainers in town, and seek the most skillful Japanese Masseurs to soothe their back pains, buying NASA state-of-the-art high-density memory foam made mattresses, swiftly digging their high heel shoes from the paraphernalia in their Vuitton purses during their elevator trip In New York’s and São Paulo’s business towers, hiding their ground-zero training shoes, only to fit within our politically destructive, and pathetically correct, aesthetic models.

How could we possibly entertain the chance of a long-needed planetary-wide developmental revolution over 17th century high heels?

Sorry, I don’t have the answer …


Our next meeting will be for Agriculture, in May

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