An extinguishing giant for all occasions

Various extinguishing agents in large capacities, two foam extinguishing systems, plus a powder extinguishing system and more than 500 meters of hoses: these facts alone allow conclusions to be drawn about the application area of the new universal fire fighting vehicle (ULF) of the plant fire department of the SKW Stickstoffwerke Piesteritz in Wittenberg (Saxony-Anhalt). In the agricultural chemicals park of the Lutheran city, they have to be equipped for large and difficult operations.


The potential danger which emanates from products such as nitrogen-based fertilizers and other chemicals is very high. The plant fire department at Stickstoffwerke Piesteritz is correspondingly well equipped: The vehicle fleet comprises six modern vehicles, none of which is more than ten years old. Rosenbauer's new ULF remains true to this philosophy: Not only does it impress with its large extinguishing agent capacity, but also with its state-of-the-art fire-fighting technology and variable operational options.


100 operations per year

"Thankfully, we are seldom called out to fire fighting operations," said the head of the plant fire department, Olaf Kracke. Most of the around 100 annual operations involve fire alarms and providing assistance in tackling small leaks. But bearing in the mind the potential dangers which lurk in the chemical products of the nitrogen plant and neighboring companies, they also have to be equipped for incidents with significant damage.


Using different extinguishing agents at the same time

"With the new vehicle, we must be able to maintain different extinguishing agents at the same time," said Olaf Kracke. This is necessary in order to be able to use semi-stationary extinguishing systems supplied by the ULF, among other things. The variability in use of the extinguishing agent is important in order to be able to fight fires under the most varied of conditions. Depending on the situation, water, different foam compounds, powder, or even carbon dioxide may be used.


State-of-the-art firefighting equipment

In addition to the existing tank capacities for the various extinguishing agents, the equipment for discharging is of course also of crucial importance. The new ULF of the Piesteritz plant fire deparment is equipped with two different foam extinguishing systems, a powder and a CO2 extinguishing system. What is unique is that the CO2 and powder extinguishing systems do not have to stay in the vehicle. They can be loaded onto a special platform via forklift and also be used independently of the ULF with a swap body. "This gives us a very high degree of flexibility for use when fighting fires," explained Olaf Kracke.


Ready around the clock

Seven full-time and two part-time firefighters are on duty at the Piesteritz plant fire department around the clock in shifts, so that they can intervene quickly in the event of an emergency. In total, the number of personnel comes to 23 full-time and 18 part-time crew. While the professional firefighters work 24 hours at a time, the part-time firefighters spend eight hours in alternating shifts.


In the future, the main firehouse of the municipal fire department will also be located next to the center of the plant fire department. Even the training center for the Wittenberg district will soon be located here. "This will create valuable synergy effects for us: For site safety, for equipping the fire departments, and for the distribution of emergency personnel," explained Olaf Kracke.


We can already look back on many years of successful collaboration between the plant fire department and Rosenbauer, which is continuing with the delivery of the new ULF. "We always pay special attention to meeting our requirements in terms of quality," says Olaf Kracke, describing his expectations. The new ULF is the perfect example for the successful implementation of these requirements.