This image/photograph is owned by Juan Carlos the photographer and is protected by copyright as well as all laws related to intellectual property rights. Unless permitted under written permission or licensed by Juan Carlos

A Comandos de Salvamento volunteer keeps the street clear at the scene of a fire and prepare to help the firefighters contain the flames and put out the fire at a marketplace vendor area that caught on fire at the historic downtown in the capital city San Salvador.

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A Comandos de Salvamento volunteer keeps the street clear at the scene of a fire and prepare to help the firefighters contain the flames and put out the fire at a marketplace vendor area that caught on fire at the historic downtown in the capital city San Salvador.

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The Wall Street Journal


FIGHTING FIRES IS A FORM OF SALVATION FOR YOUTH IN GANG RIDDEN EL SALVADOR


Text by Ileana Najarro


Sergio Altamirano lives in the world’s murder capital. And as if that weren’t dangerous enough, he spends his Saturdays doing things like rushing into raging fires.

Mr. Altamirano, 15 years old, is a member of a volunteer first-aid and rescue group called Comandos de Salvamento, or rescue commandos. He has been riding in ambulances, tending to homicide victims and helping put out the occasional fire since he was 10 years old. Those activities, ironically, are likely safer than hanging out on the streets of this gang-infested country.



Read more here

This image/photograph is owned by Juan Carlos the photographer and is protected by copyright as well as all laws related to intellectual property rights. Unless permitted under written permission or licensed by Juan Carlos

Four young members of the Comandos de Salvamento chat before starting their graveyard shift as EMT volunteers at the organization’s main post in San Salvador.

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Four young members of the Comandos de Salvamento chat before starting their graveyard shift as EMT volunteers at the organization’s main post in San Salvador.

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This image/photograph is owned by Juan Carlos the photographer and is protected by copyright as well as all laws related to intellectual property rights. Unless permitted under written permission or licensed by Juan Carlos

Kevin, a 19-year-old volunteer EMT, analyzes the scene as he and other members of the Comandos de Salvamento arrive at the site of an emergency in San Salvador.

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Kevin, a 19-year-old volunteer EMT, analyzes the scene as he and other members of the Comandos de Salvamento arrive at the site of an emergency in San Salvador.

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This image/photograph is owned by Juan Carlos the photographer and is protected by copyright as well as all laws related to intellectual property rights. Unless permitted under written permission or licensed by Juan Carlos

Comandos de Salvamento’s EMT volunteers help a police officer who was hit by a moving vehicle while riding a police motorcycle in the capital.

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Comandos de Salvamento’s EMT volunteers help a police officer who was hit by a moving vehicle while riding a police motorcycle in the capital.

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This image/photograph is owned by Juan Carlos the photographer and is protected by copyright as well as all laws related to intellectual property rights. Unless permitted under written permission or licensed by Juan Carlos

Manuel Alberto, 17 years old, aids a pizza delivery person after a motorcycle accident in San Salvador

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Manuel Alberto, 17 years old, aids a pizza delivery person after a motorcycle accident in San Salvador

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This image/photograph is owned by Juan Carlos the photographer and is protected by copyright as well as all laws related to intellectual property rights. Unless permitted under written permission or licensed by Juan Carlos

Volunteer EMT Manuel Alberto helps unload a man involved in a motorcycle accident at the emergency room of a San Salvador hospital.

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Volunteer EMT Manuel Alberto helps unload a man involved in a motorcycle accident at the emergency room of a San Salvador hospital.

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This image/photograph is owned by Juan Carlos the photographer and is protected by copyright as well as all laws related to intellectual property rights. Unless permitted under written permission or licensed by Juan Carlos

Comandos de Salvamento volunteers help firefighters put out a fire at a marketplace in the historic downtown in the capital city San Salvador.

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Comandos de Salvamento volunteers help firefighters put out a fire at a marketplace in the historic downtown in the capital city San Salvador.

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This image/photograph is owned by Juan Carlos the photographer and is protected by copyright as well as all laws related to intellectual property rights. Unless permitted under written permission or licensed by Juan Carlos

A Comandos de Salvamento ambulance arrives at a fire scene in downtown San Salvador to provide for medical needs.

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A Comandos de Salvamento ambulance arrives at a fire scene in downtown San Salvador to provide for medical needs.

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