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These boots are made for working…and for fighting fires

Brian (DJ Rockindad) Jutsum with Aljezur Bombeiros Commander, Mario CostaResidents of the west coast community of Vale da Telha have presented Aljezur fire fighters with 10 pairs of state-of-the-art fire resistant boots and 12 pairs of gloves especially designed to help in the extrication of casualties from wrecked vehicles.

Friends Brian Jutsum, Sally Henman and Richie Brogden organised a concert, “Musicians Supporting The Bombeiros” at the Restaurante Vale de Telha that raised €1,760 for the Aljezur Bombeiros.

The show featured UK band The Shakespearos (who took time out from their tour of the Algarve to headline the evening), Algarve-based German singer Christina (Pearl C) Vennemann, musician Richie Brogden, local singer/songwriter Jackie Meadows, and Brian Jutsum himself, rounding off the night with a 70s-80s music set in his alter-ego of charity fundraising disc jockey DJ Rockindad.

All of the performers gave their services free in order to maximise the funds raised for the district’s fire fighters.

Brian says they were moved by the heroic and selfless actions of the fire fighters who so bravely and fearlessly tackled last year’s huge outbreaks of fires across Portugal, one of which killed 62 people.

He went on: “We know from experience that our local bombeiros, many of them volunteers, are just as ready to risk their lives on our behalf.

“You can’t buy the kind of bravery and skill these men and women show in a time of crisis. But we felt we could help to provide them with some of the resources they need to do the amazing job they do in such times”.

Just under 150 people attended the concert, raising the €1,760 through ticket sales, an auction of two oil paintings donated by a local artist, a raffle of prizes donated by local businesses and residents and €275 from sponsors of the poster advertising the event.

Brian, Sally and Ritchie met with Bombeiros commander Mario Costa to discuss how the money should be spent and he asked for the boots and gloves, which meet European specifications, a vital requirement for safety and insurance issues.

The boots and gloves were delivered earlier this week and, with every cent of the €1,760 spent on them, are enough to equip every fire fighter at the Aljezur Bombeiros.

Commander Costa said: “We are grateful for the support of the people of Vale da Telha and the surrounding areas. These boots are perfect for the job of fighting fires, especially the type of extensive forest fires we have had to deal with in the recent past.

“They are a big improvement on those we had before, which tended to begin melting when subjected to high temperatures.”

Firefighter Helio Oliveiro told us: “We have other boots but these are the footwear fire fighters would always choose above all others”.

The photograph shows the Presentation ceremony at the HQ of Aljezur Bombeiros. The station’s fire fighters are flanked by (from left) Richie Brogden, Christina (Pearl C) Vennemann, Sally Henman and Brian (DJ Rockindad) Jutsum.