The City Police, the Mossos d’Esquadra police corps, the Barcelona Fire Service, the Government of Catalonia’s Emergency Medical Service and the Barcelona Social Emergency and Urgent Care Centre (CUESB) have been awarded the gold medal for civic merit for their response following the recent attack. The services helped attend to victims immediately after the van attack on La Rambla on 17 August.
When the attack took place on La Rambla, twenty officers who were on hand at the scene at the time were the first to raise the alarm, sealing off and evacuating the area. They were also the first to help victims, providing first aid and resuscitation.
Three hundred officers were on the scene in no time, as well as other iconic sites around the city, shoring up security in conjunction with the Mossos. A further 340 officers also volunteered to go on duty straight away. The City Police also offered support to the Mossos d’Esquadra in the search for the van driver.
The Barcelona Fire Service mobilised 36 firefighters and 12 vehicles, offering medical support, helping evacuate people and setting up two first aid points on La Rambla in conjunction with the Emergency Medical Service. The latter mobilised fifty ambulances and 112 professionals, including doctors, nursing staff and specialists. A further 25 people cut short their holidays to help at hospitals attending the injured.
Medals of honour have also been awarded to the Barcelona Social Emergency and Urgent Care Centre (CUESB), which attended to 166 people at its main premises in C/ Llacuna, as well as points set up in El Raval and L’Eixample. The services also offered support by phone for 220 people who rang 900 703 030, as well as providing support for 74 relatives of victims in identification tasks at the Catalan Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences. Thirty people slept at the CUESB itself on the night of 17 August.
The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, noted that besides their professionalism, the emergency services and security services managed to carry out the most difficult tasks in the most difficult moments. “Your life was in danger, but you didn’t hesitate to help those who were worst off”, she stated, concluding: “It was really tough, but if it happened again, you’d want to be on La Rambla”. On behalf of the City Council and the city as a whole, the Mayor again thanked the services for their work on 17 August.
The City Council also wanted to acknowledge the dedication of all workers and citizens who responded following the attack and their outstanding role on the day of the attack and over the days that followed: the Catalan Red Cross, the Government of Catalonia’s Civil Protection corps, the various hospitals and medical centres, the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences, the Policia Nacional and Guardia Civil police corps, the City Council’s cleaning services, Barcelona’s taxi drivers, the City Council’s and the Government of Catalonia’s communication and press services, establishments such as El Corte Inglés and the Hard Rock Café, as well as shops and businesses on La Rambla, the Hotel Palace and local residents from La Rambla and the district of Ciutat Vella.