We work hand in hand, keeping in mind the community’s safety and wellbeing.

Interview to Col. Jose Govert Vivero, Head of the Fire Brigade of Esmeraldas

As firefighters, we have a very important task; in some cases, our job involves saving lives, and in most instances, it entails controlling big fires. Thus, any support we may receive from public and private institutions for the purpose of carrying out our duties is much appreciated.

In this regard, what do you think about the support given by private enterprises for such praiseworthy tasks as that of the Fire Brigade?

Working in a coordinated manner and supporting each other means making progress.  The likelihood of facing fires is greater for Esmeraldas given the structures used in the refinery. A fire brigade with highly trained and prepared personnel, but lacking units, equipment or premises cannot be called a fire brigade. Therefore, any contribution, no matter how small, is very important.   

How did the relationship with OCP Ecuador begin?

It began with the support OCP gave for the firemen school in the San Rafael Valley. The candidates are no longer trained under a scorching sun or under the rain; now there is a metal structure and a full cover for protection.  Along the same lines, OCP donated a rubber boat, which is a very important contribution for our activities during the winter season. The important factor is that OCP trusted on the Fire Brigade and the Fire Brigade trusted on OCP, so this has been a mutual collaboration relationship.

We have also received training; we have taken trips and performed drills in order to know about the operations in the Balao Terminal to be able to act  efficiently in any case of emergency and to foresee potential fire risks that may arise in the area.

In general terms, has this training center been helpful to the community?

Of course; this space has become a place to connect with the community. Now it does not matter if it is raining or it is sunny. These premises are used for meetings of community leaders, social or cultural events, because the residents do not have big spaces in their own houses.