In the middle of the corridor between stadel and puchitz is the entrance to the rescue gallery. A gravelled square with a barrier, two container-like houses with utilities and the angular concrete block of the access road form the head of the rescue tunnel. KBI siegfried hammrich has the key power, he opens the gate to the underworld. One of his tasks as district fire inspector is to develop the rescue concept for the three ICE tunnels in the district of lichtenfels, the "eierberg", "kulch" and "lightwood" – to coordinate.
On this day, KBI siegfried hammrich and puchitz commander nikolaus weib look after things in the tunnel. They open the gate and drive down to the bottom of the tunnel, to the level where the actual ICE tubes are located, through which they are already driving at up to 300 km/h on a trial basis. At the end of the year, the nurnberg-erfurt intercity express line, which includes the three tunnels, will be regularly opened to rail traffic.
In the event of an emergency, this tunnel is where the firefighters from puchitz go – they have been trained for this in recent years, and the new VW bus is equipped with several self-rescuers for this purpose. Also during the rough operation in the tunnel "eierberge", the saturday, 23. September, the puchitz fire department is taking part – now with its own vehicle, the first in its more than 100-year history.
Change of tasks
when the fire department was founded in 1903, no one could have imagined the tasks it would have in the 21st century. Century once must perceive. At one time, a four-wheeled iron suction and pressure fire engine was the fire department’s most important piece of technical equipment. But when the ices and freight trains pass through the tunnels of the new line from the end of 2017, the 23 active members of the puchitz fire department will be involved in the emergency program. To get quickly from their fire station to the rescue tunnel of the 3756 meter long "eierberg", which is only a few kilometers away-to get to the tunnel, the fire department got the VW bus for a crew of eight firefighters.
The VW bus was procured by deutsche bahn for fire and disaster protection on the new ICE line, says siegfried hammrich, who himself lives in puchitz. The team transporter was handed over to the district of lichtenfels and stationed in puchitz, the KBI continued. The county pays for its maintenance. Primarily, the four-wheel drive VW bus will be used to transport personnel and equipment to the accessible emergency exit3 of the tunnel "eierberge" used on the new line between stadel and puchitz.
Transport of light casualties
but the vehicle can also be used for the transport of ambulant lightly injured persons in case of an accident in the tunnel. The VW bus is also intended to be used by the fire department as a traction vehicle for the portable fire engine trailer.
Alerting unit formed
in addition, says siegfried hammrich, the district fire department uses the vehicle in the event of a disaster as well as for rough local and supra-local operations, training and education as a driving and transport vehicle. This is particularly important in the banzgau region, because of the four villages of altenbanz, puchitz, stadel and zilgendorf, only puchitz currently has a vehicle. The fire departments of the four villages form an alerting unit – they work together in order to be able to alert enough firefighters during the day, between 6 a.M. And 6 p.M., to fully occupy a vehicle in the event of an emergency. The reason for this is that many firefighters do not work at their places of residence, so that they are not available in the event of a fire during the day.