Finding the right chemistry

GW-G for the industrial park in Frankfurt am Main

Industrial parks involved in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries pose a particular challenge to fire services: where a wide variety of chemicals, materials, pressures and temperatures are present, not only is special caution required, but also special knowledge and special equipment is needed in order to be prepared for all eventualities. For this reason, Infraserv Höchst is now relying on a Rosenbauer equipment truck for hazardous substances (GW-G) Group at its location in Frankfurt am Main.

In operation at one of the most successful chemical sites in Europe

Infraserv Höchst Group operates several industrial parks, as well as production and disposal facilities for the chemicals industry. The largest of its kind in Germany is Industriepark Höchst in Frankfurt am Main. With an area of around four square kilometers, it is also one of the largest chemical and pharmaceutical sites in all of Europe. Various companies manufacture their products across the huge site - including well-known names such as BASF, Bayer, and Novartis.

Infrastructure providers: from energy to danger prevention

Park operator Infraserv provides the entire infrastructure for the companies that produce their products at the site. This includes the supply of various forms of energy, disposal and security services, building management, and also logistics, training, and further education services. Last but not least, the industrial park operator is also responsible for danger prevention. In addition to a medical provision center, Infraserv also maintains its own plant fire department.

Part of the TUIS assistance system

This is also a part of the TUIS transport accident information and assistance system, which is operated by companies within the chemical industry from Germany and Austria: If there is a transport accident involving chemicals, TUIS not only offers advice, but also technical assistance on the scene of the accident with the necessary special equipment through its integrated plant fire departments. If such an accident occurs within Industriepark Höchst, for example, the factory fire brigade is deployed, acting as a competent partner of the local rescue workers.

Customers for special vehicles

An industrial park's plant fire department is not the type of customer that requires everyday products. However, there are also an AT and two universal fire trucks from Rosenbauer in the Infraserv fleet in Frankfurt. Thomas Sandmair, the designer responsible at Rosenbauer, still has vivid memories of the decontamination vehicle that was delivered 10 years ago. And since it has so many special features, the recently delivered special vehicle for handling hazardous substances (GWsG) should be equally memorable.

From vertical lift and air compressor...

Rosenbauer built a superstructure on a Mercedes-Benz Actros 2551 6x2 chassis with rear axle steering and a 5.80 meter wheelbase, with which the plant fire department is perfectly equipped for emergency operations in the chemical park. The equipment includes, among other things, a nitrogen extinguishing system with 4 bottles each containing 50 liters and a dedicated space for dangerous goods storage: If anything becomes contaminated during an operation, it can be transported separately from the rest of the equipment on the roof. In order to easily accommodate this here, a vertical lift has been installed at the rear instead of a loading tailgate, which is able to achieve a lifting height of 2.20 meters. This makes roof access easy. Thomas Sandmaier makes it clear how extraordinary this feature is when he says that, in his many years at Rosenbauer, he had only been permitted to install such a lift for a customer on a vehicle on a single previous occasion.

In addition, the driver and front passenger have their own workplace for monitoring breathing protection at the scene of the emergency behind the seats in the driver's cab. There is another unique feature related to the compressed air, but not for the firefighting squad: a dedicated compressor generates compressed air for external tools that are driven by it. Electrical devices can of course be supplied with energy via the built-in generator or via an additional portable power generator.

... to hygiene wall and workbench

In order to provide protection from strong sunlight and light rain, awnings have been attached to the sides. The FLEXILIGHT LED light mast ensures sufficient illumination when the truck is deployed in dim light or at night. Another example of the special equipment of this vehicle is the so-called 'hygiene wall', which is fed by a 400-liter water tank: Here, emergency personnel can wash their hands or even hose themselves down in an emergency.

Other functional features include extremely sturdy pull-out cupboards, which Sandmaier understandably terms "pharmacy cupboards." These allow users to look at an extensive assortment of tools and access them quickly. The pull-out workstation on the front right should not be overlooked, either: here, a workbench with a wooden worktop has been integrated in order to allow the adjustment or repair of tools to be performed on-site.