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New police officers and firefighters increase Barcelona's security and rescue services

The new police officers and firefighters who will be increasing Barcelona's security and safety, at an event held to officially welcome them into service
New police officers and firefighters will increase Barcelona's security and fire safety
Spanish city increases number of emergency responders

Barcelona City Council's security and rescue services have recently been strengthened with the incorporation of 204 new police officers and 45 new firefighters. They were welcomed by the Mayor Jordi Hereu last Thursday at an event held at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, where he called on them to "defend the rights and freedoms of the public".

The 82nd Guàrdia Urbana intake will strengthen the district territorial units in line with the policy of increased neighbourhood policing and will provide back-up for officers patrolling and monitoring public spaces during the summer.

For their part, the 45 new firefighters are the first intake to have followed the new Training Plan established by the Guideline Plan which extends training times for the Prevention, Firefighting and Rescue Services (SPEIS).

After showing his appreciation for the work they were starting in the service of the city, Hereu added that these services were two of the "pillars" building Barcelona and that they had to work together to serve the public better. The Councillor for Safety, Prevention and Mobility, Assumpta Escarp, gave her assurance that this intake reflected "a policy of safety, prevention and coexistence that responds to the needs of the public".

Staff reinforcement will continue

The new firefighter intake includes Barcelona's second female firefighter

Following these new intakes, the City Council has been carrying out the selection processes for another 250 Guàrdia Urbana officers and 35 firefighters, continuing the policy of expanding both forces and bringing in younger staff. Although the 204 police officers are being taken on as trainees, they will become "career officers" in 2010 and integrated into a force which currently has 2,600 officers.

At the ceremony to welcome the new officers, the head of the Guàrdia Urbana, Xavier Vilaró, told them they would have to work "on a local level, efficiently and in conjunction with the Mossos d'Esquadra [regional police], firefighters and National." The 45 new firefighters, who include Barcelona's second female firefighter, will be put on standby at a fire station and will be appointed career firefighters in a year's time.

The head of the Prevention, Firefighting and Rescue Services, Joan Padreny, highlighted the values that these new "emergency service professionals" would have to follow in their work: a commitment for the future, team work and public service.

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