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BVCO - Bombeiros Voluntários de Campo de Ourique


By chronological order this FD was the second (after the FD Ajuda) to adopt a specific territorial scope of action within the city of Lisbon, since its foundation in 1916. Its designation clearly identifies Campo de Ourique, an urban District modernized in the early years of the 20th century, which peculiar physical and social characteristics have remained pretty much intact throughout time. The (single) fire-house of this FD, founded by former FD Lisboa volunteers, has occupied two different  fire-house converted facilities, not far away from each other within the same city District.


Similarly to all other FDs in the 1930-1979 period, the VFD Campo de Ourique provided valuable services to the directly targeted population under two mutually complementing fields of action: response to fires and other emergency incidents and the so-called Health Service. Under the latter scope of action the local community has benefited from immediate health-care and patient transportation in cases of illness or accident ( including attending to the victims of serious civil unrest incidents, which were frequent events in the late 19 and early 20 centuries). For this purpose a semi-autonomous branch named Cruz Branca-the White Cross was created, as it clearly shows in the FD’s crest.


With regard to this specific line of action and similarly to what was also provided, around the same period, by the VFDs Ajuda, Lisbonenses and Cruz de Malta, the FD Campo de Ourique operated (along the 60’s decade?) one mobile first-aid station on a Citroen H chassis, as illustrated herein.


As for the remaining automotive apparatus of this FD, in the time-frame concerned by this platform, there is a significant documentary gap (in public sources) with regard to the initial decades of operation. However the images of two excellent urban-response pumpers (likely dating from the 40’s/50’s decades) could be sourcedd, along with one enclosed-cabin woody type Willys Overland jeep, the latter most likely used as one utility apparatus and tentatively dated from the 50’s decade.


Several tankers/water carriers and ambulances, tentatively dated as from the 60’s/70’s decades can also be found in this platform. In that period it is believed that a serious effort for enhancement and diversification of the fleet of apparatus has taken placed. The new acquisitions (including one electrical power generator and floodlight trailer, still parked in the fire-house in 2007; image not available). Sometime in the 60’s/70’s decades some changes in the apparatus fleet appears to have taken place, apparently in order to get the FD better prepared for future challenges (eg. forest fire-fighting), however data is missing or inconclusive in this regard.


As direct access to the documentary sources was not possible all data released in this platform (namely the identification and description of the rigs) should be considered as merely indicative, that is: it may have happened that, unwillingly, some important pieces of apparatus were overlooked or ill-described in this platform. Consequently additional contributions and comments, namely from former volunteers or officials, are highly appreciated and most welcome anytime in the future.


For the purpose of coordinating operations between the then BSB and the VFD Campo de Ourique, the latter was assigned the complementary co-designation of Lisbon’s 4th Auxiliary Division of Fire Services.


Ref#1: site http://bvcampodeourique.no.sapo.pt/barra.html

Ref#2: F. H. Santos (Coord.); Bombeiros Portugueses-seis séculos de história (2 vols).SNB/LBP, Lisboa 1995


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