The volunteer fire department of zeil has always been able to reach for the sky. Since the founding of the fire department almost 150 years ago, zeil has always been the location of a ladder. From four to twelve, then to 16 and now: 18 meters high and with a radius of 14 meters. The new revolving ladder of the type DLK 18/14 was blessed on sunday by the catholic retired pastor reiner fries and the protestant pastor hans-christian neiber. It now ensures that all of zeil’s buildings, the high-rises as well as the houses squeezed into the narrow streets of the city center, can be reached in an emergency.
But even the best device is of no use if there are not enough people who can put it to expert use. Ten zeiler firefighters sacrificed several days of their annual vacation last year to be trained on the new DLK 18/14. One of them is mario kramer. He is the equipment manager of the zeil volunteer fire department and knows practically every little screw on the DLK 18/14 personally. He has spent more than 100 hours refitting the newly acquired car, adding "sprucing it up" and fit for purpose. This was necessary because the new turntable ladder is a used vehicle. A new vehicle of this type would have cost around 650,000 euros, and the city would certainly not have been able to pay for it. Months ago, the town council approved the 55,000-euro purchase, which has now been officially handed over.
With a great deal of research and personal commitment on the part of the dedicated firefighters, whom mayor thomas stadelmann (SPD) praised in his speech, a car had been found in berlin that was both affordable and suitable for zeil. "It makes the city a little safer from now on", explained the commander tobias hetterich in his speech.
There is a wide range of possible uses. Fire-fighting water delivery from above, rescue of people from heights of up to 24 meters, rescue also from depths, crane function with a lifting capacity of up to 2.5 tons are only the most important functions that are now available to the fire department. The wagon has already been used four times and with it the many volunteers.
At the moment, the zeiler fire department, together with the surrounding firefighting teams, consists of around 150 active men and women. Strong youth groups give the commander confidence for the future. All together, they put in about 4,500 hours a year in training, material care, practice and service. For the safety of the people in and around zeil. 15 euros as a supporting member of the association could be an expression of appreciation and was certainly money well invested as support and security for the future readiness of the fire department, explained association chairman volker winkelmann.