Firefighters: “We Are Not Heroes”

Total Croatia News

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Many would not agree.’s journalist Dea Redžić spent the night and this morning with firefighters near Split. Here is her account.

At this moment, there is no electricity at Donje Sitno, which has been fighting fires for the last 48 hours. We have spent the night with the firefighters who were deployed in our street. They do not want to talk about politicians. Some of them did not sleep for the last 48 hours. Their socks are glued to their legs, and they cannot be removed because the pain is unbearable; the blisters are much worse than Marin Čilić’s, but these people do not cry. They laugh and wait for a new call to get into action.

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The catastrophe has united the locals and seemingly the whole of Croatia. The scenes we are just witnessing in front of us are bringing tears to our eyes, but firefighters are not surrendering. Their calmness is calming us as well. They even manage to make jokes. “We do not know what we will do the future. The only thing which has not burnt yet is the Marjan Hill.”

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One of the heroes who defend Sitno is Tanja Crljen. She fell in love with being a firefighter, she got her licence to drive a truck and is now a driver of a water tank. “She is our boss; there is no fooling around with her. In situations such as these, it is nice to have her with us,” says Ante, a firefighter-volunteer from Split, while we are drinking coffee sitting on a small wall and eating doughnuts that we have bought in a nearby store.

“Believe me, the worst time for us is when we are not doing anything,” says Ante who at 2 pm has to go to his regular daytime job.

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He will be a little late today. Tanja will arrange for someone to take him to Split. She does not want to talk too much with reporters, explaining that says is not a firefighter to be in the media. She has two daughters, and she does not want them to read anything about her in the papers. The older daughter has also shown interest in firefighting.

“We are not heroes, write it again, please,” said one of the firefighters.

But, the rest did not last long. A new fire has started near Žrnovnica. Tanja organised her team, and we went to follow the fire.


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