The Wiesbaden fire service has to handle around 4,000 call-outs per year. That means an average of 11 call-outs per day. The scope ranges from burning rubbish bins to water rescue deployments to major fires. The fire service has approximately 150 vehicles. There are constantly more than 280 full-time employees along with 600 volunteers available. The helpers recently received further support: two Mercedes-Benz 316 CDI 4×4. The vehicles are not only distinguished by the highest technical standard but also their exceptionally dynamic look: A large, white “W” decorates the bright orange vans as a dynamic logo. This is a striking sight for more than just children – other fire service units throughout Germany have also asked their colleagues in Wiesbaden about the design and the equipment of the vehicles.
Joachim Zimmermann is responsible for purchasing the vehicles. He has worked as a fireman for more than 30 years. “I am very interested in state-of-the-art emergency technology”, emphasizes Mr. Zimmermann. “Especially with the new vehicles I do not make any compromises when it comes to technical reliability.” The two Mercedes-Benz 316 CDI 4×4 serve as incident control vehicles for a fire engine and are always used when multiple fire engines have to be coordinated. The Sprinter are a major help especially when managing the communication. The state-of-the-art radio technology in the vehicle determines the fire situations and can call for additional assistance, if necessary.
Mr. Zimmermann chose the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter because the vehicle perfectly matched to the technical specifications. With a power output of 160 hp, a wheelbase of 3,665 millimeters (middle wheelbase) and an automatic transmission. In addition, the vehicle also possesses extensive storage space and the ability to handle difficult terrain thanks to the 4×4 drive system. The predecessor of the current incident control vehicle was a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 313 CDI 4×4. Mr. Zimmermann also relies on Mercedes-Benz for the firetrucks.
The two Sprinter have now been in service for six months. “Generally, we can use a vehicle as a primary vehicle for eight years and then it is used as a reserve vehicle”, explains Mr. Zimmermann. The body manufacturer Hartmann from Alsfeld converted the vehicles beforehand. Special furnishings such as the rotating driver and passenger seats were designed specifically for the vehicle’s purpose. Only the design of the dynamic “W” on the body does not originate from Hartmann. “We developed the design together with a labeling company about four years ago”, says Mr. Zimmermann proudly. “Naturally, the W stands for Wiesbaden“, he explains with a grin.