HEALTH RESORT OPATIJA VOLUNTEER FIRE BRIGADE AND RESCUE SOCIETY
Not only the health service but also several other humanitarian institutions and societies were active in Abbazia/Opatija, the most important town on the once Austrian Riviera, the town that was also known as the Austrian Nice. The most important of the societies was The Health Resort Opatija Volunteer Fire Brigade and Rescue Society. The authors of this article have been particularly interested in the society’s founding and its activity until it moved into the new building at 6, St. Florjan’s Street in 1910. The fast urbanisation and the development of the industry raised the need of the well organised activity of putting out fires. The German gymnastics societies were the first to include the education and the skills development of the volunteer firemen into their programmes.The first volunteer fire brigades appeared in Austria after 1863. The huge fire that broke out in Vienna in 1881 showed that the fast and efficient rescuing demanded a well prepared organization of a team of rescuers. Based on the initiative of the chimney sweep Franz Drescher and The South Railway Company, the volunteer fire brigade was founded in Opatija already in 1886. The founding of the volunteer rescue society was based on the idea given by dr. Jaromir Mundy, the permanent guest in Opatija and a friend of prof. dr. Theodor Billroth, in 1894. The intertwining activity of the both societies resulted in their formal joining. The head physician became dr. Franz Tripold, the chief commander was Franz Doberlet junior. For his special merits, the general assembly of the Health Resort Opatija Volunteer Fire Brigade and Rescue Society appointed him the honourable commander of the society in 1903 and he received a special photo album with the photos of the volunteer firemen and the rescuers’ practice. The Emperor Franz Joseph I Jubilee Fire Station, the Rescue Station And the Sanatorium (Kaiser Franz Joseph I Jubiläums – Feuerwehrrüstungshaus, Rettungsstation und Erholungsheim) was given to the use on 1st October 1910. Since then, the two societies worked at this same location. The Volunteer Fire Brigade Opatija has been located in this building ever since.
Keywords: Abbazia/Opatija, Rescue Society, Volunteer Fire Brigade, dr. Franz Tripold, Franz Doberlet