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New Station for the Plant Fire Department

Fire Chief Niko Meinke-Marquardt tells all about the 160-meter long building on Strasse 37 – which has space for 25 vehicles and 100 emergency personnel.

New building: 
an exterior view 
of the fire station 
on Strasse 37.

Space for the fleet: Fire Chief Niko 
Meinke-Marquardt in the fire station hall. 25 fire engines can be housed here.

It is 160 meters long, and has enough space for 25 vehicles and around 100 firefighters: the new plant fire station on Strasse 37 is now open for business. “Construction has finished one-and-a-half months ahead of schedule,” says a delighted Niko Meinke-Marquardt, Head of the Wolfsburg Plant Fire Department.

Why did the plant fire department need a new station? The answer is quite simple: “A normal fire department is expected to reach the site of an incident within eight minutes of the alarm being raised, but we have to be there within five. But because the plant has continued to grow, it was becoming increasingly difficult to stay within that time from our previous site at the East Gate,” says Meinke-Marquardt. But that’s not a problem from the new, central location on Strasse 37.

fire officers are 
provided with food from their own kitchen at the station during breaks.

"Fire officers don’t sleep, they just rest"

Of the 90+ fire officers that serve in the plant fire brigade, 18 will be on duty at the station. The emergency crews will be able to relax between call-outs in modern recreation rooms. “Fire officers don’t sleep, they just rest,” says Meinke-Marquardt with a laugh. And it’s true, there’s little chance of getting any sleep. “We can be called out up to ten times a day due to fire alarms. Luckily, those are usually relatively minor incidents such as sparks flying out of a machine. We try to get there as quickly as possible to prevent anything more serious from developing,” says the fire chief.
And when there are no fires to put out, the fire officers provide technical support. “That can be anything from water damage, a traffic accident, a patient transport, or when a car body slips from its transport suspension in Production,” explains Meinke-Marquardt.

Keeping in shape: 
rescue operations call for high levels of physical fitness. Emergency personnel can train at the station’s own gym to stay in shape.

In fact, the fire department is the first port of call when no one knows what else to do.

A downward slide: 
the officers can slide down the poles straight into the vehicle hall.

the equipment is cleaned, disinfected, and dried in one cycle 
in this booth.

In fact, the fire department is the first port of call when no one knows what else to do.  When they’re not busy coming to the rescue, the plant’s fire department oversees one of the world’s biggest fire alarm systems, with more than 100,000 fire alarm points. In one of the modern workshops at the rear of the building, the fire officers service and maintain all of the Wolfsburg site’s 18,000 fire extinguishers. But the fire department is not completely abandoning its former base at the East Gate. “Our breathing apparatus training will still be held there,” says Meinke-Marquardt. It will also still house an emergency control center to receive emergency calls in exceptional cases. The emergency number to call internally within the plant is 555.

Plant fire 
department offers traineeships

The plant fire department was recently certified to offer training in accordance with the fire service regulations. As a result, a number of training courses for the volunteer fire departments in the surrounding areas can be completed at the plant. In addition, plant fire officers with other companies are already being trained in Wolfsburg.