Fire fighters plan two-day celebration this weekend

Anyone who grew up with a strong desire to be a fire fighter will have a great weekend.

Costa Rica’s Cuerpo de Bombero plans a two-day celebration.

Saturday the fire fighter will be in San Antonio de Desampardos where the Academia Nacional de Bombero is located. The program calls for skill tests to show physical and technical capabilities. Both individuals and teams will compete. Among other challenges is a nine-floor training tower in which fire fighters will have to haul down simulated victims, haul up hoses and do other rescue and fire-suppression maneuvers.

Sunday there is a Mass in the Catedral Metropolitana at 9 a.m. where an estimated 500 fire fighters are expected to attend. Some are volunteers. Others are full-time paid fire fighters. Officiating at the Mass will be Joaquín Bernardo Calderón Vargas, a Roman Catholic priest who also is a volunteer fire fighter in Palmar Norte.

The big draw Sunday will be a parade. The event starts at 10 a.m. in Parque Central just west of the cathedral where 22 new fire trucks will be on display. The fire agency said this is the first time that so many vehicles have been purchase at one time. The vehicles will be blessed, and then the 500 firefighters, their trucks and other units will parade east on Avenida Segunda to the auditorium of the Corte Suprema de Justicia where awards will be presented to winners of the Saturday events.

Among others to be honored will be the volunteer firemen who put in 3,900 working hours during 2012 and another who responded to 497 emergencies.

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