Job and calling: Offenbach fire brigade celebrates 100th anniversary | News city

Today it takes an average of 8 minutes from making an emergency call via the telephone number 112 to the arrival of the fire brigade on site. That was not always so. In the city of Offenbach, an initiative of the volunteers of the gymnastics club in 1845 led to fire fighting equipment being equipped with better equipment and personnel. Until then, fire fighting was a question of the mostly moderately organized and poorly equipped neighborhood help. As early as 1860, the mayor’s office announced the first service regulations for the 218 men of the fire brigade and their relief teams, but a few more years would pass before the professional fire brigade was founded. At the time, women were not yet in the fire department. At that time, the Offenbach fire brigade already owned seven syringes, and another was added later as a gift from the Aachen and Munich fire insurance companies: In 1865, the large suction syringe was the most modern device available on the market at the time. In the course of the industrialization of the city, the first water services were relocated, hydrants were installed and in 1875 the fire brigade received a building on the area of ​​today’s city courtyard. The fire brigade was housed there until 1962, when it made space for the new town hall building and moved to the new, more functional guard on Rhönstrasse. There are currently 195 firefighters, ambulance workers in alternating shifts and technical and administrative staff on day duty – since the Offenbach fire brigade was founded on December 1, 1921 – a hundred years ago – no longer volunteer. During their operations, however, they are supported by around 100 volunteers from the fire departments in Bieber, Rumpenheim and Waldheim.

The fact that a large city like Offenbach cannot do without the volunteer fire brigade despite a well-established professional fire brigade has proven time and again, as has been the case with the corona pandemic: “The volunteer workers are an addition that the professional fire brigade can rely on “, Explains city fire inspector Sebastian Irgel on the occasion of the anniversary:” I hope that the good and friendly cooperation between the professional and volunteer fire brigade Offenbach am Main for the benefit of the citizens, true to the motto ‘God for honor, the next to fight. One for all, all for one ‘continues to work well. “

Occupation: firefighter

The women who have long been involved in the voluntary fire brigades and have slowly but steadily conquered the professional field for themselves since the turn of the millennium show that the fire brigade has long ceased to be a male domain: On July 1, 1997, Sandra Klose (now Reng) stepped as the first female firefighting employee in a control center in Hesse to join the Offenbach fire brigade, and in 2015 Jasmin Philipp followed as the first female apprentice in the firefighting service. There are now seven women working in the fire service, and the proportion of women working in the field is expected to grow over the next few years. That is why Janina Boerckel, women’s and gender equality officer of the professional fire department, also sets the course for a good work-life balance from which everyone benefits and in which the values ​​of the fire brigade can be lived on and reflected on. “

The Lord Mayor and chief employer of the Offenbach fire brigade, Dr. Felix Schwenke: “Many evenings, weekends and even public holidays such as Christmas or New Year’s Eve cannot be spent and celebrated at home in order to literally` `walk through the fire ” for other people and, despite all safety measures, to get back to themselves again and again To bring danger. This willingness to work and this passion of the firefighters deserve our gratitude. ”Especially since the challenges have increased in recent years: In addition to fire protection and fire fighting, animal rescue, accidents with dangerous goods and substances, rescue services and disaster control are now among the tasks the Offenbach professional fire brigade. For example, the emergency services set up the vaccination center in the town hall and supported the local staff after the flood in North Rhine-Westphalia.

“Rescue, extinguish, recover, protect. That is our job and calling at the same time “, explains Uwe Sauer, fire director:” We are on the way, with fire trucks, ambulances and, if necessary, on the water with the boat. ” Volunteer fire brigades in Offenbach for their daily work for the benefit of the citizens and all businesses and companies in the city. Since the planned celebrations for the anniversary unfortunately had to be postponed to next year due to corona, he is looking forward to the commissioning of the new control center on Thursday. “The renovation and relocation have been delayed a bit, so we now have a small birthday present,” said Sauer. The new control center has five instead of the previous four places to receive emergency calls on 112 and, by concentrating the entire functional unit in one wing of the building on Rhönstrasse, allows for quieter work and better coordination of fire and rescue services.

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