THE BIG HEART OF JAVEA…….
On this same Sunday last year, Javea did not know it, but it was about to face some of the scariest few days in it’s history. On 4th September 2016, I was staying with a friend on the Cumbre del Sol and had just settled by the pool with a glass of vino on that gloriously hot, but windy day, when we spotted smoke coming from the other side of the Cumbre. A quick look on JC saw that photos had already started to be posted and the alerts were everywhere.!
After gulping down my vino, I headed back to the laptop, little knowing what the next few hours and days would bring.
Well, actually, what it brought was everyone together! All emergency services, including the fabulous voluntary services such as the ISVH Bomberos, Red Cross, Civil Protection, plus Police and Guardia worked tirelessly and bravely to save our town from the flaming beast that spread so quickly and was gradually engulfing it hour after hour.
People watched Social Media constantly and Javea Connect, together with the Local Firewatch group worked hand in hand with each other all through the night of the 4th/5th September and I think very few people had any sleep at all. Group members were posting offers of help, shelter, transport, blankets, food, drink and clothing, others were out risking their lives rescuing animals and moving horses.
During that first 24 hours, we had over 1,000 applications to join Javea Connect and the messages were “pinging” constantly!! Photos of the devastation were reducing people to tears, and yet not one life was lost. One photo, which I will always remember was of 3 very tired but smiling Bomberos who had stopped for an hour to take a well deserved break before heading sleeplessly back on duty. This particular photo clocked up over 2,800 likes in about 5 hours …
……and still holds the record for the most liked photo on JC. The town then showed it’s appreciation on so many levels, with fundraisers organised in many different ways by people who just wanted to thank and support the voluntary services.Some of the best ever events were held to put money back in the coffers for depleted supplies which had been ruined in the fires.
There are posts all over the group, which tell individual stories, some sad, some funny but all of them straight from the heart, which is why all of us on the admin team keep this group going and will continue to do so for as long as we can.
Recent events on (and ouside of) the group have sadly seen Javea Connect being the butt of jokes, by a few disgruntled people and if I am absolutely honest, it has been hurtful in the extreme. For the most part the JC team have tried to rise above it but, as the membership reaches 15,000 it will become increasingly difficult to keep a balance.
We must try, at all times, to remember that what makes one person crack up laughing, may be hurtful to people more sensitive and with a group this big there will be an abundance of both. Anyway, I will not dwell on the negatives , but I will ask that people try to remind themselves why the group was formed in the first place and to give a little thought to the silent majority, some of whom are “scared” to post or comment now. That is NOT what it was all about…. It IS about, trying to get along with each other in a very small town where, unlike the really big groups, people do actually know each other!!
So, this has gone on long enough, but before I leave you, I would like to once again, thank all those brave men and women in the Emergency Services, especially the ones who volunteer to put their lives in danger, and I sincerely hope that Richie Mallen and his team of “Bomberos” ( sorry can’t get the new name in my head, lol) never have to face that flaming beast again.
So, September 2016 may be a distant memory now, but please remember that this could happen again at any time and for that reason, we all hope that you will come out in force on 17th September at The Big Heart of Javea event 2017 and help the guys who will always help us!
This video, which was not seen by so many people last year, is a video diary made my the partner of one of the Bomberos on duty at the time, Adam Stevens.