The Feuerwehr: Who, What, and Why

Today, I want us to take a closer look at what comprises the feuerwehr or fire defense. While by strictly by definition, the fire defense refers to the different number of German fire departments.

Who comprises the fire department?

The fire department is ideally comprised of trained professionals. Depending on where they are and what they’re jurisdiction is, their number of members can shift. Larger cities like Berlin have a 24-hour city run fire brigade. This is understandable as fires are more prone to occur in densely populated areas.

In a larger setting, a Zug or platoon is what is expected. This can consist of several vehicles and depending on the type of fire, they may send out a platoon type or technical rescue.

What comprises the fire department?

There isn’t just one type of fire department. Here is how professional brigades are broken down:

Professional fire brigade

This is otherwise known as: “Berufsfeuerwehr”. This professional brigade usually operates in large cities or municipalities.

Plant fire brigade

This is otherwise known as: “Werkfeuerwehr”. This is usually part of large-scale company properties. Large manufacturing plants usually have fire brigades nearby to deal with any industrial fire issues.

Airport fire brigade

This is otherwise referred to as: “Flughafenfeuerwehr”. Airports usually have their own fire brigade within the premises and usually by the runway. This enables them to act fast should fires breakout anywhere near the planes.

Town fire brigade

This is usually called “Hauptamtliche Wachberitschaft”. This is due to the fact that small cities or towns don’t usually have professional fire brigades but they can have them. This is normally comprised of a squad and not a full company.

Why do these people do what they do?

Our brave men and women in the fire brigade all have their own reasons for being in that profession. Even volunteer squads have their own individual reasons. What binds them all together is a deep seated desire to ensure the safety of their community. It is certainly not easy to be in that field of work and it is something that must be greatly admired.

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