A day in the life of a Military Fire Captain
February 2022: Rodrigo Vanderlinde is Captain of the Military Fire Department of the State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. He speaks to CRJ Advisory Panel Member, Elton Cunha about his work
Vanderlinde is based at the 3rd Cia in Barra Velha city and his Company covers seven coastal municipalities. “That is, we respond to a very large area of the coast of the State, for aquatic rescue, but we also act in search, rescue, pre-hospital and fire occurrences, as well as in support of Civil Defense Local for disaster situations,” he notes.
He has worked in the Fired Department for 16 years, but he was previously a State Police officer. He says: “I was encouraged to take the public contest for the Military Fire Officers Academy, so it is a very rewarding activity when we are able to serve the population and make a difference in our community.”
A typical day in Vanderlinde’s role of commander of the unit involves general administration of the company. He also researches ways to acquire new equipment, vehicles and training resources, as well as for improving the installations at the Fire Brigade’s military base. He continues enthusiastically: “We have social projects involving children, volunteers and the elderly, where we train for first aid, identification of dangers inherent to fire, discipline and the motivation necessary to become a Military Firefighter.”
He says that his main challenge is the construction of the new military fire station on land donated by the Municipality of Barra Velha. With tasks like this, Vanderlinde experiences hurdles to overcome, such as the bureaucracy of public administration and the lack of resources to finance improvements.
However, he is passionate about his work. He says: “What motivates me the most to work is knowing that I'm helping to deliver an increasingly better service to society.”
In terms of future goals, Vanderlinde aims to improve his political skills, as well as to finish the new firefighter base in his command. He concludes: “I also want to improve as a professional and be a reference of our work for Brazil, and even enhance the service of our community.”