Marco Janzen takes care of the public relations of the fire brigade Peckelsheim. Using the squad's auxiliary fire engine (HLF) as an example, he explains how to make a car operational again. Whether it's rescuing people, fighting fires or providing technical assistance – the HLF is equipped for most situations and is always the first to move out.
Accordingly, the effort to get it up and running again can be great. Because basically, everything on board that was used or consumed in a disaster must later be checked for function, refilled or replaced. "We do this according to priority," explains Janzen. One of the first measures: Fill the water tank.
Fill up the water tank
The car carries about 2800 liters. Connected to the hydrant of the fire station, it fills up again within ten minutes. "In the meantime, the respiratory protection device carriers take care of their equipment."Four sets of equipment are carried by the HLF. Oxygen cylinders and respirators are changed after use.
The fire department keeps a reserve for this. "The cylinders are refilled, the masks cleaned, disinfected and shrink-wrapped," says Janzen. The Wolfhagen Volunteer Fire Department takes care of the used utensils. "That's what they offer as a service."
Used hoses are also replaced with dry lines. "This is taken care of by the fire department headquarters in Brakel. We collect the used hoses at the equipment house in a container. Brakel employees pick it up when it is full," explains the spokesperson. In total, the fire truck has about 300 meters of hoses in various sizes on board.
"These measures are the most important of all. After that we could immediately go again, if there would be a new mission. This has also happened before."But if the detector remains calm, then it is now the turn of the rest of the car. Was foam extinguishing agent used? Was the generator running? Are the batteries of the radios full? These and many other things are on the list now.
Cleaning the fire truck
"Contaminated binding agent, for example, we take back with us after an operation. 90 percent of it has to be disposed of as hazardous waste," explains Marco Janzen. If rescue spreaders and shears were used, their lines must be checked afterwards. "There are 630 bars of oil pressure on it. If a hose was damaged in the field, it could be very dangerous," says Janzen. In addition, the entire car must be cleaned.
If gas detectors were used, they must be recalibrated. "For this we have test gas. The device then has to strike."If the thermal imaging camera has been used – for example, to detect hot spots – its data is transferred to the PC. "This serves to document the operation," says Marco Janzen.
Write operation report
The incident commander must also write an incident report. Details such as the outside temperature or the weather conditions are also included in the report. In addition, it is noted who was harmed. "There are also chargeable operations. So it can be settled later", explains the press spokesman.
Depending upon, what happened in the employment, the comrades lead afterwards still another discussion with a Notfallseelsorger. They also briefly review the disengagement together once again. What went well? What can be done better in the future?
Let control center know
Then the fire truck is refueled. Janzen: "But not always, because sometimes we only cover short distances. When the tank is still three-quarters full, it needs to be refueled again."
When the car is finally back in the vehicle hall, the operation is noted in the logbook. The helpers also report to the fire department's district control center that they are ready for action again. This is done by pressing a button on the radio of the car.
Work for several hours
"The vehicle is usually taken care of by the crew that was on duty with it. Depending on what needs to be done and how many people are involved, the whole thing takes different amounts of time," explains Marco Janzen.
On average, the procedure presented takes an hour to complete. But often the helpers are busy for several hours to get the car ready for use again. For example, if it is heavily soiled or if a lot of equipment has been used. "And that only applies to a car.