COVID-19: The Challenges for Colombian firefighters.

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(NCT Magazine) – The city of Bogota is the capital of Colombia, which has an area of 163.635 hectares, 7.150.000 inhabitants -according to the preliminary results of the 2018 census- and is the administrative center of the country. Due to its social complexity, it is a city that presents various risk scenarios; such as torrential avenues, forest and structural fires, floods, mass movements, earthquakes, crowds in public and those framed in construction activities.  

In 2019, a total of 21.733 incidents were recorded in the city, the most frequent being those related to traffic accidents, damages to public service networks (energy, gas and water), tree falls, burns and fires.  

For the comprehensive management of these types of incidents, the Bogota Fire Department is part of the risk management system of the city. The Bogota Fire Department is an entity with 125 years of service and is distributed in 17 stations, which strategically serves the 20 locations in the city. Likewise, the entity has a human capital of approximately 600 firefighters; who are distributed in three shifts of operation, which implies that there are around 230 firefighters daily to respond to incidents and emergencies in the city, being highly demanding of this type of service.  

The Bogota’s firefighters have their actions defined in accordance with the general law, which specifies their responsibility in risk management against fire, attention to incidents involving hazardous materials, and search and rescue in all its forms.  

In the course of 2020, the city and the country have faced a particular situation in the social and economic dynamics, as a consequence of the pandemic by COVID 19, which nowadays leaves around 1478 confirmed cases of contagion in Bogota. This situation has required the implementation of measures by the district administration, where the institution plays an important role in the continuity of incident care and its support is expected, in the event of a massive contagion scenario. 

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