In the service of the city and the homeland since 1934
The beginnings of firefighting in the Duga Resa area date back to the 19th century when on March 1, 1885, an Industrial Voluntary Fire Department was founded in accordance with the long and rich tradition of voluntary firefighting in Croatia. The establishment of this Department overlaps with the development of industrial production in Duga Resa, which was a prerequisite for a rapid increase in the number of inhabitants and the construction of workers’ settlements and buildings that unfortunately were subject to numerous fires.
Today’s Voluntary fire department Duga Resa was founded on January 28, 1934, by the merit of a group of progressive locals. The first board elected at the founding assembly was:
- Mijo Brozović, President
- Florijan Čulig, Commander
- Nikola Borovac, Sub-commander
- Branko Blažević, secretary
- Janko Petrak, representative of the Municipality
- Dr. Alberto Longino, departments physician
- Ivan Ranbusek, stockkeeper
The work of the Department, due to different conditions and socio-historical circumstances, can be divided into three periods:
- Since the foundation of the Department until the beginning of the Second World War
- Department in War and post-war circumstances
- Department in the Homeland War and during modern times in the Republic of Croatia
The first period of the Department from the beginning to the unfortunate Second World War is the period of preliminary work and laying the foundation for future work. About twenty men from Duga Resa – intellectuals, tradesmen, traders, farmers, and workers are responsible for helping the Department with donations of bigger amounts of money for laying down a good foundation and to start acting in service to the community. With the tireless work of founders and members, and with the the help of locals, the Department had achieved its first successes. One of the most active years was in 1938 when firefighters from Duga Resa, among other interventions, also extinguished a huge fire at the cotton factory and were rewarded with 20.000,00 dinars for their efforts, adding 7.000,00 more and establishing their tin music society under the guidance of the chaplain De Rusi. Tin music society was performing until the Second World War.
The war and the immediate period after brought new troubles and the dispersal of the membership that was struck by war blasts. Particularly unfortunate was the destruction of a large part of the Departments archives, which is why many activities have not been recorded.
In the period after the end of the war, and when the situation in the state settled, a fire station was built and the department’s activities got a new impetus. New equipment, an auto-tank, and an aggregate were acquired, and they’ve even opened an auto mechanic workshop. In 1981, with the help of the wider community, a new FAP combined vehicle of a great value was purchased. They even opened their own taproom shop and the Department was actively involved in the social life of Duga Resa, occupying an important and indispensable place. Emphasis was put on professional training and various courses in order to raise the firefighters’ readiness to the highest possible level. The educational element was also emphasized since the Department was working on education of the population on containment and prevention of fires. Alongside with firefighting activities, firefighters from Duga Resa also performed a number of other actions such as delivering water to drought-affected areas. Actions included assistance to other affected parts of Croatia, so members of the Department participated in helping people from the Zagreb area during the Great flood of 1964.
In the area of Duga Resa, new fire department units were established and the fire department became more and more active. On May 31, 1976, a charter agreement was signed with the Slovenian Fire Department Črnomelj, which was a continuation of friendship between Croatian and Slovenian firefighters since pre-war times. Continuing fruitful cooperation with other Croatian and Slovenian companies was the signing of the Charter of Friendly co-operation between Firefighting Departments in Črnomelj, Duga Resa, Otočac, Senj, and Slunj on June 30, 1985.
In 1988, the Fire Department of the Volunteer Fire Department Duga Resa – “V region” was founded for the needs of the local community “V region”.
During the 90’s in the 20th century, the Department entered a new phase of action when it was necessary to adapt to new circumstances, so the automobile workshop and drink chains were rented to private entrepreneurs.
Members of the Department gave their unselfish dedication during the Defense-Liberational Homeland War, participating in t
he defense of their city and creating Croatian statehood and independence. During the attack on Duga Resa, on October 4, 1991, there was a fire in the Duga Resa Cotton Industry. During the quenching of the fire, firefighters were attacked by enemy gunfire.
The specific conditions of work during the war years required extra effort and commitment of all firefighters. A War Command was established in the Fire Association of the Municipality of Duga Resa at that time, and its basic task was the organization and co-ordination of those firefighters who were not involved in the armed defense of the homeland. Led by the noble ideals of selfless help to the community and the people, firefighters from Duga Resa embedded their efforts into the foundations of the sovereign Croatian state. It is especially important to mention the excellent cooperation with the Croatian Army during the most demanding tasks of securing the property and life of our citizens.
Following the successful defense and the end of the war, after the military and police action called Storm, the Department devoted itself to contemporary challenges and got a new impetus in its activities, and on February 20, 1999, it fraternizes itself with the Volunteer Fire Department Popovača.
1994 and 2004 marked the sixtieth and seventieth anniversaries of the Departments foundation, and at that occasion commemorative brochures were issued.
Throughout that entire period of its activity, VFD Duga Resa was the bearer of the fire defense and all aiding actions in Duga Resa, as well as the social life of citizens. For its subsistence, development and success would be the best way to thank the tireless work and efforts of its members, as well as to help all the locals of Duga Resa, but also to a successful co-operation with other firefighters from the provinces of Duga Resa and Karlovac. This is confirmed by
the fact that the basis of social development and security is mutual solidarity and selfless help.
Referring to the rich experience, the Department continues its development in the 21st century in accordance with the new era, and is always ready to be in the service of anyone who needs help, and especially to its beloved city and homeland.