These photos of a VIASA CJ-6 in service with the Bomberos de Zaragoza of Zaragoza, Spain come from the collection of Miguel P. Laborda.
The high-hood Spanish "CJ-6" was a long-wheelbase version of the "CJ-3" built by VIASA in the early 1960s (see Jeeps in Spain on CJ3B.info.)
The CJ-6 fire engine pictured has a raised hardtop with storage for four sections of 4-inch suction hose and a ladder (surprisingly a single-stage rather than extension ladder.)
Unfortunately, the excellent Fire Museum in Zaragoza (Museo del Fuego y de los Bomberos) has a LWB Land Rover on display rather than a Jeep.
But Zaragoza has a strong Jeep connection -- it was the location of the factory which built Jeeps for VIASA ("Vehículos Industriales y Agrícolas, S.A.") in the 1960s. The tooling for the CJ-3B has been rumored to still exist somewhere in the city.
Although the CJ-6 was an exclusively Spanish Jeep model, perhaps the most unusual Jeeps built in Zaragoza were the unique SV series of cab-forward trucks, including the Toledo 9-seat wagon (100K JPEG) and Duplex 5-seat pickup (100K JPEG).
None of the photos of the Zaragoza Bomberos ("firefighters") show a clear view of the rear-mounted pump on the VIASA Jeep. It appears to be a PTO-powered pump, with the tailgate closed behind it, which suggests there is a water tank in the rear storage area.
Federico Cavedo found an ad for the long-wheelbase pumper in the June 1967 issue of Alarma, a Spanish fire service magazine published in Barcelona. The make is given as "Willys-Decei" and the company name Decei seems to be derived from "D.C.I." or Defensa Contra Incendios. The Viasa Jeep dealer is Autotrade in Madrid.
The headline says "Fire happens anywhere... Anywhere a Willys-Decie extinguishing unit can go." The text confirms the CJ-6 has 4-wheel drive, a water tank, booster reel and a self-priming bronze pump which produces 60m3/hour (264 GPM) at 8kg/cm2 (114 PSI) working pressure. It doesn't state whether the pump runs from the power takeoff.
In contrast to the photo at the top of this page, the large copy of this photo (180K JPEG) appears to show the pump being supplied from the internal tank through a hatch in the tailgate. The output is charging two hand lines and the booster reel on top of the water tank, so they'll have to get that hard suction hose off the rack pretty soon!
A black & white advertising brochure for the CJ-3 version of the Defensa Contra Incendios Jeep lacks a close look at the rear-mount pump, but shows that the short-wheelbase version was intended to operate with a 1,000 liter (250 gal.) water trailer which also carried a 30m (100 ft.) reel of rubber hose, and two 4m (13 ft.) lengths of suction hose. Thanks to Sergio Lwoff for the brochure.
This color photo (source unknown) confirms the natural color of the canvas top of the VIASA fire Jeep, identified here as "Servicio de Incendios." A bit of a mystery is the function of the fitting that's sticking up in front of the windshield, which is not present in a front view photo from the brochure (200K JPEG.)
Two auxiliary units of the Barcelona Bomberos -- a short-wheelbase CJ-3 (left) beside the longer-wheelbase CJ-6. These Jeeps were probably not equipped with pumps. They both have the extra-height hardtops, and what appear to be snowplow mounts. It only snows about once a year in Barcelona, which probably means the city is not well-equipped for clearing snow. Photo courtesy of Joaquim Pol.
The corporate fire department of the SEAT automobile factory in Barcelona had two VIASA Jeeps with dry chemical extinguisher systems. Federico Cavedo found this photo taken circa 1976, of the Bomberos putting on a foam demonstration, with the two Jeeps in the background.
SEAT was founded in 1950 and immediately became Spain's largest automobile company, but the fire apparatus at their large plant came from other manufacturers. The Bomberos are seen here posing on a VIASA CJ-3 and a Magirus Deutz 150D pumper. (Magirus trucks from Germany were, and are, widely used in Spain.)
Like "VIASA," the "SEAT" name was an acronym, taken from "Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo." The plant in Barcelona is seen here in the 1960s. As of 2015, SEAT is the world's eighth-largest producer of automobiles, owned by Volkswagen, and their main plant is now located in Martorell, north of Barcelona.
The fire department did operate SEAT automobiles as command cars. They also used the solution seen here, for their lack of a dedicated aerial ladder truck.
The Bomberos clearly liked their apparatus and enjoyed posing for photos with it. Thanks to Clasicos SEAT for these rare pictures, restored to full color by CJ3B.info.
This photo gives a better look at the dry chemical system in the back of one of the Jeeps, with spherical pressure tank and figure-8 stowage for the hose.
See similar systems on Airfield Crash Rescue Jeeps.
These three photos show the apparatus in front of a building which apparently served as their station at an earlier date.
Another photo, taken at the new station (70K JPEG), clearly shows that both of the Jeeps were equipped with the dry chemical tanks.
Another industrial fire brigade served the huge BASF chemical complex at Tarragona, on the coast south of Barcelona. This 1978 photo apparently shows a drill for foam operation, with their Jeep Duplex in the background. This SV-series vehicle, produced by VIASA and its successor EBRO until about 1983, was rated as a one-ton truck, making it a solid platform for the master stream nozzle mounted in the back.
The massive BASF operation in Tarragona is still a major chemical plant, producing chemicals used in detergents, cosmetics, plastics and fungicides.
Note the "Jeep" stamping below the windshield. These photos of the BASF Duplex truck, found by Federico Cavedo, are the only examples I have seen to date of the unique SV-series Jeep in the Spanish fire service.
Servicios Auxiliares of the Barcelona Bomberos also had a Jeep Duplex, but apparently only as a utility vehicle. Photo courtesy of Joaquim Pol.
Newer Jeeps are also used by fire departments in Spain. Here are some examples of the Cherokee used as a chief's car.
"Cherokee?" you say? Yes, the Liberty was still badged in Europe as the Cherokee. Alejandro G. Poyato took this shot of the Bomberos Valencia chiefs in 2006 for the website Fire Engines Photos.
The classic XJ Cherokee as chief's car of the Bomberos Villanueva del Fresno, in southwest Spain near the Portuguese border. Photo from 2012 by ÁlvaroBa on Flickr.
Thanks to Miguel, Alejandro, Federico and Sergio. -- Derek Redmond
A Spanish comic book called "Chiqui," drawn by Roberto Flores includes a scene with los Bomberos and their high-hood fire Jeep (380K JPEG). (Note that the story is a cautionary tale about Internet usage.)
See also a VIASA Brushfire Jeep in the Alps.
See more Fire Service Jeeps.
Return to Jeeps in Spain on CJ3B.info.
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