Time is critical to the fire service. Ten minutes are allowed in Germany to pass from receiving the emergency call to the first vehicles arriving at the scene of the incident – and that’s only in rural areas. In built up areas, the time is even shorter. This posed difficulties time and time again for the volunteer fire station in Much in Rhein-Sieg-Kreis. “Previously there was just one site in a central location, but Much has developed at an above-average rate”, explains fire station manager, Markus Büscher. As such, it was not always easy to adhere to the legally specified response times. For the Much local authority and the volunteer fire station one thing was apparent: this needs to change.
Nevertheless, the volunteer fire station had been on the lookout for a suitable plot for a long time without much success. Then as 2020 drew to a close, at the junction of Kreisstraße 31 and Landesstraße, a treatment plant was cleared, the local authority and fire station team seized the opportunity to set up a second site in Marienfeld. The new vehicle depot was ready to use in just a few weeks. The volunteer fire station in Marienfeld now joins the Much fire station to each callout. “And that’s 25 callouts in the just the last month”, says fire station manager, Büscher. “From fires to storms, we’ve supported them all.”
But why was the volunteer fire station able to implement its building plans so quickly, once the plot was finally found and leased? “I had a company in mind who had already worked with fire stations to implement a number of projects, Herchenbach”, says Büscher. “So we presented our request for an assembly in Marienfeld within a very short timeframe – Herchenbach warmly received our ideas and we were able to get going right away.” Timo Kautz managed the construction as a responsible employee of the local authority and fire station. As the aluminium buildings from Herchenbach offer a flexible modular system tailored to customer requirements with TÜV-inspected statics, the volunteer fire station had all the necessary documentation available right after the order was placed. “As such, planning permission from Rhein-Sieg-Kreis was also granted rather quickly”, adds Büscher.
The local authority and volunteer fire station opted for ground spike anchoring instead of an expensive foundation. If the ground is suitable, as the surface course, base course and frost protection layer have already been built, for a parking area, for example, anchor plates can be directly attached to the existing ground. For the volunteer fire station, the plot was relaid due to its previous use as a treatment plant. The actual anchoring with ground spikes took around one to two hours, whereas a foundation would have taken around four weeks to dry. “Even the assembly of the building was rather quick”, recalls the fire station manager. “Within a matter of days everything was finished with the connections we had made. I have nothing but praise.”
For the temporary building, the local authority and fire station opted for the Therm+ model with a frame made of stable and durable aluminium profiles and textile roofing in highly tear-resistant industrial PVC tarpaulin. They were also particularly impressed by the wall cladding. The fire station and local authority opted for ISO panels with excellent heat transfer values (0.31 W/m²K). “It wasn’t just weather and theft protection that were important to us“, explains the fire station manager. “Our vehicle is already filled with water, which could freeze in winter and that just isn’t an option.”
The volunteer fire station gained quite a lot of extra space, as they went for roller shutter doors. The rolling door curtains roll up tightly without protruding into the building. In this way, virtually all of the gable side can be opened and securely closed again following use. The aluminium building at the volunteer fire station offers space for two vehicles. “At Marienfeld, we have basic equipment with fire engines and firefighter transporters”, adds Büscher. Firefighters are able to get changed in a container specially set up adjacent to the building.
15 firefighters are assigned to the new site – some of whom have joined since the new building was assembled. Fire station manager Büscher hopes that more will join them. Perhaps the look and feel of the volunteer fire station in Much-Marienfeld is giving the site an advantage over other units. The silhouette of Marienfeld with the church, houses and trees covers the roller shutter doors and outer wall. “We’ve got a really clever member of our team, who had made the stickers for the fire engines, explains Büscher. And they took their design flare one step further and developed the exterior of the building in the most stunning manner. The volunteer fire station not only has a second site to offer, which is perfectly tailored to their needs, was easily assembled in no time at all, and is also rather eye catching. Even if the fire crew are not able to gaze at the building for too long before a callout, as every second counts for the fire service.