Nidda (ten). Comradeship and cohesion are terms that you immediately associate with the fire department. But in times of the corona pandemic, they also have to be reinterpreted in the operational departments. City fire inspector Benjamin Balser has also noticed positive effects in all challenges from the wave of infections. The daily alarm readiness has improved thanks to short-time work and home office.
“Fortunately, apart from one or two suspected cases because the fire department came back from risk areas, we have no failures,” explains Balser. Other weirs have been hit harder by the pandemic. In Pfungstadt two weeks ago, 21 firefighters and also the mayor had to go into domestic isolation after a ski break in the Stubai Valley. In contrast, there are only eight suspected cases out of a total of around 400 emergency personnel in all Niddaer weirs.
The firefighters are now working together differently so that the operational departments are not weakened as much as possible by infections and quarantine. “If we are alerted to small operations where there are no human lives in danger, only a squad will be deployed directly,” explains Balser. The second group remains on standby at some distance so that there is as little direct contact as possible between the two groups. In addition, emergency personnel that are no longer required would be withdrawn faster than usual.
“When deploying in old people’s homes and clinics, I always ask on the way to the control center whether there are any known corona cases,” says the City Fire Inspector, another precaution.
In addition, he ordered a small batch of protective clothing for the firefighters. “If we are requested by the emergency services to be baby carriers, we have to protect our emergency services,” he explains. Actually, it was planned that the fire department should get respiratory masks from the medical service. But because its stocks are also scarce, Balser himself ordered the material for his firefighters.
He is annoyed that the urgently needed aids are misused by some as speculative objects and masks are sold for ten times the price and more. He ordered “with a sense of proportion because we knew that the respiratory masks were urgently needed in other places,” explains Balser. When he heard that the Mathilde Hospital in Budingen was going to run out of masks, he was immediately ready to hand over a large part of the ordered quantity to the hospital.
It has not been finally clarified how to deal with upcoming inspection deadlines during the pandemic. Respiratory protection wearers would only be approved for one year at a time. In order to extend this, they would have to go to the respiratory protection route in Bad Nauheim. However, like many other institutions, it is currently closed. The so-called G26 / 3 examination, in which the physical fitness of respiratory protection wearers is checked, is only valid for one year. “There is currently an exception in the decree that I can put off the appointment for three months if I feel fit,” explains Balser.
Because of the instructions to avoid personal contact as far as possible, all meetings of the fire brigade including the exercises are currently canceled. This could lead to a loss of motivation, especially in the youth and children’s fire departments. Therefore, the fire brigade wants to produce videos to keep in touch with the youngsters.
Many Niddaers are currently spending more time in the garden. This will register some useful fires. According to Balser, however, the unregistered fires are more problematic. In the past few days, the fire brigade had to deploy repeatedly because garden waste was burned.