Ubrique Firefighters Mountain Rescue Group: Elite Rescue Team

Martín Serrano

Ubrique Firefighters Mountain Rescue Group (GRM): The Elite who saves lives and rescues people

Many people in the area may not be aware of the existence of the Cadiz Consortium of Firefighters Mountain Rescue Group (Grupo de Rescate en Montaña, GRM), located in Ubrique fire station.

This Group is composed of fourteen top firefighters who, in addition to their usual training, are well prepared to respond to distress calls coming from these dense and sometimes complicated mountain areas. Although the administration has yet to officially recognize this Group, these specialists are well equipped to respond here, as well as neighbouring provinces.

Firefighters Cadiz

At Ubrique fire station we are attended by their team leader Juan Carlos Chacón, a promoter of this group that was constituted in September 1999 and specialises in flight, climbing, caving and hiking practices – to name a few.

They have been called in for missions in the Sierra de Lijar, in Algodonales; the Motilla cave between Jimena and Ubrique; La Sima del Republicano, in Villaluenga del Rosario; El Peñón Grande in Grazalema; La Garganta Verde in Zahara de la Sierra and the Barranco de Buitreras, in Cortes de la Frontera, amongst others.

Chacón explains that they respond to the usual calls like the rest of their colleagues but, if needed, the Rescue Group can be sent out with specialists trained to attend to the distress calls.

“There are services that don’t require more than two people, while others require many more. It depends. There have been cases that required the intervention of forty people from different security and rescue teams, like last year in Garganta Verde”.

Ubrique Firefighters Mountain Rescue Group

The fourteen members of GRM are specifically trained to cover the mountains. Every Thursday the team practices orientation, map plotting and “whatever is needed”, Chacón explains. “We have a high response rate to calls, we know the Sierra”.

Last year, 30 interventions were carried out and 28 people were rescued. “There were 15 people affected in La Garganta Verde who were caught off guard by intense rainfall; they became trapped and their lives were at risk”.

GRM members are well equipped and physically well prepared; mountaineering and cave-loving athletes can volunteer to be a part of the group.

Chacón believes that this Rescue Group should be officially recognized as such, given the work it has been doing for so many years.

Recognition for Rescues

Cadiz Ubrique Firefighters Mountain Rescue Group

The Firefighters Consortium of the Province of Cádiz has recognised the Mountain Rescue Group’s work after its participation in a difficult rescue of two people in the Garganta Verde ravine in Zahara de la Sierra in 2018. The president of the Consortium, Francisco Vaca, said: “Your work is not only beneficial for society; it also enhances the overall work that this Consortium does, and you have all of our support to keep this service running”.

Ubrique Firefighters Mountain Rescue Group

The list of journalistic headlines related to interventions made by these professionals is endless:

These are some examples: “GRM firefighters rescue wounded woman on Majaceite river trail”; “GRM intervenes in two rescues during Holy Week in the Sierra de Cádiz”; “Yesterday afternoon, GRM aided a woman who fractured an ankle while following the river path from Benamahoma to El Bosque”; “On November 4th, 2018, GRM rescued three lost hikers at the Mogea de Escobar estate in Alcalá de los Gazules”; “Early this morning, GRM firefighters located a lost French hiker in the Sierra del Endrinal in Grazalema”; “GRM facilitated the transportation of a wounded hiker – a 32 years old woman from Puerto Real – who was walking the Majaceite river path, from El Bosque to Benamahoma”; “In April last year, GRM rescued a wounded paraglider in Algodonales”; “Firefighters rescue eleven disoriented hikers following the route between Tavizna and Ubrique…”

Ubrique Firefighters Mountain Rescue Group (GRM): The Elite who saves lives and rescues people

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