Discover how the Vatican’s firefighters work

Monday 5 March 2018

Rome Reports

What is a day in the life of a firefighter in the smallest State in the world? There are usually no big emergencies, but when they do happen these men are always ready.

The 37 firefighters that make up the Vatican team must be available 24 hours a day. Alessandro Fontanella has been in service for 26 years. He’s presently Team Leader of the Vatican Fire Department

‘We carry out about 500 rescues of various types during the course of a year,’ said Allesandro. ‘We are talking about blocked elevators, floods, opening doors...Basically, anything that is needed. We serve in the Holy Father’s ceremonies and also in those in St. Peter’s Square.’

The firefighters’ patrons are St Barbara and Pope Leo IV. Legend has it that this pope managed to put out the great Borgo fire, in the Vatican vicinity, in the year 847.

Although they do not have many fires to extinguish now, these men give their all day-after-day to maintain security and peace in the State where Peter's successor sleeps.
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