Portugal’s oldest firefighter dies “after 80 years service”

Chefe Luciano Fortunato Viegas, of Melo ‘bombeiros’ fire station in Guarda, died this week aged 102.

Explain reports, he was the ‘oldest firefighter in Portugal’ and his passing leaves the country much the poorer.

In a note to Lusa news agency, the League of Portuguese bombeiros paid tribute to his extraordinary legacy ‘serving a cause he knew more than most how to dignify’.

President Marcelo wrote on his official site that Chefe Luciano’s record “should serve as an example to all Portuguese”.

The legendary firefighter joined the association of volunteer firefighters on January 1 1945, and served actively for almost half a century before taking a more backseat role.

Said the League, in 2003 “he passed to being an honorary member” …“but never really left the station” as the place was in his heart.

“In the last few years he assumed with pride and delight the function of the association’s standard bearer”, said the note.

As the President remarked, “firefighters in Portugal deserve national respect – for their history, for their permanent dedication. But more than this they deserve the best possible conditions so that, within the scope of their duties, they can live fully as firefighters, just as Luciano Viegas lived, until he was 102”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com