The Benemérito Cuerpo de Bomberos de Costa Rica are responsible for all fire protection and emergency services throughout Costa Rica. They fight forest fires, house and business fires, and deal with landslides, floods and rescues. Sixty three fire stations were active across the country as of 2012 and they are staffed 24 hours a day by several hundred professional firefighters and over 1,000 volunteers.
On February 15, 1864, the municipality of San José agreed to start negotiations with the U.S.A. to bring a fire engine to Costa Rica, which arrived on June 20, 1865. The First Official Rules of the Fire Department were approved on July 27, 1865.
Here in Atenas, our fire department opened in 1960.
The next time you are waiting for a bus at the Coca Cola bus terminal in San José, take a few minutes to walk around the corner and admire the display of old fire engines. They are beautifully maintained.