Press releases


After more than two months trapped in the depths of their mine, the 33 Chilean miners have been brought back to the surface, safe and sound. In particular, the Chilean authorities, who deployed huge resources for this operation, mobilised more than 130 fire-fighters. Having had a special relationship with this force for more than half a century, Renault Trucks is proud to have been associated with this mission which demonstrated the essential role played by trucks in their various operations. Since its first operational brigade was set up, 80% of the Chilean fire-fighters' fleet has consisted of Renault Trucks vehicles, particularly Renault Midlums. As a symbol of this strong relationship, a delegation of fire-fighters came to visit the Blainville-sur-Orne (Calvados) plant last spring and in November a photo exhibition will be organised at the Chilean presidential palace to mark the publication of a book tracing the history and activities of the Chilean fire brigade.

Totally devoted to their mission and held up as an example for the entire world, Chile's fire-fighting force, the "bomberos”, numbers more than 37,000 men and women, all of them volunteers, split up into 307 brigades. Their association with France goes back to 1863, when French nationals in Chile set up an emergency fire-fighting brigade in Valparaiso called "Pompe France". Since then, the ties have remained very close, strengthened even further by the predominance of Renault Trucks vehicles in Chilean fire-fighters' fleets.
At present, 80% of the force’s 2,000 vehicle fleet consists of Renault Trucks with bodywork by Camiva. These are mainly Renault Midlum 4x4 or 4x2 vehicles. But even more important than Franco-Chilean friendship, these vehicles are recognised for their distinctive qualities. "It is essential for every vehicle which joins a fleet operated by one of our 307 brigades to be totally capable of meeting our demands in terms of safety, speed and manoeuvrability," explains Miguel Reyes Núňez, president of the Chilean fire-fighting force. "We also greatly appreciate the EBS electronic braking system which delivers particularly efficient braking, easy hill starts and a means of constantly checking brake disc temperature," he adds.

Every time there is an invitation to tender, these qualities ensure that Renault Trucks meets all the Chilean fire-fighters' technical and administrative requirements, including cost free maintenance of vehicles during their first five years of deployment. In addition to that, the Salfa group, Renault Trucks' local distributor, makes it a point of honour to provide Chilean fire-fighters with exemplary aftersales service, minimising vehicle downtime for maintenance checks or repairs.
On 7 June, a delegation of Chilean fire-fighters, led by Miguel Reyes Núñez, was welcomed to the Renault Trucks plant at Blainville-sur-Orne (Calvados) where it was able to watch a Midlum being assembled and discuss various technical points during test drives of fire tenders. In November, as part of the partnership agreement which has maintained the ties between Renault Trucks and Chilean fire-fighters for 40 years, a photographic exhibition entitled, "Heroes, the rebuilding of a nation", will be organised at the Chilean presidential palace, in association with the fire-fighters, the Chilean government, Camiva and Salfa. It will be followed by the publication of a book tracing the history and activities of Chilean fire-fighters. The money raised by the sale of this book will be donated to the Chilean fire-fighters' foundation.

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