Airport fire brigade

“Safety first” is always the highest priority in international air traffic. And the Airport fire brigade plays a key role here: the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) stipulates that without the presence of a fire brigade ready for operation round the clock, no aircraft may take off or land at the Airport. Thus, at an Airport, the fire brigade is a guarantor of safety.

In the case of emergency, the Airport fire brigade must be on the spot with its first vehicle within two minutes, and within three minutes with all vehicles. To achieve this, the Airport has a fleet of “Panthers”. What this term means is the combined force of a fire engine with some 1000 hp weighing in at 40 tonnes.

The fire officers have to be out of the station within 20 seconds. At the deployment location, the “Panther” with a top speed of 138 km/h can show its strength: 6,000 litres per minute and a trajectory distance of some 100 metres. This force is ready for operation day and night, 365 days a year. With 23 other vehicles, the 100 members of the fire brigade are prepared for action round the clock.

The ICAO also demands that comprehensive emergency drills are carried out at least every two years. These exercises include the simulation of a collision of two aircraft. Here, the target is to run through processes and improve and optimise these.

Apart from possible aircraft alarms, the fire brigade is responsible for fire protection of the buildings at the Airport and technical assistance after accidents, rescue service, emergency planning and the first aid station. The main fire station is located almost exactly at the centre of the Airport, next to the tower. Not far from Terminal 2, there is a second station which is mainly responsible for the fire protection of the buildings. Every year, the Airport fire brigade is called to action almost four thousand times.