Baden-Württemberg police take on new fire-fighting role

Baden-Württemberg police take on new fire-fighting role

21-Sep-2020 Source: Baden-Württemberg

[electronic translation] The Baden-Württemberg police received new external extinguishing containers for fire fighting from the air. Police helicopters can thus help put out forest fires faster, more effectively and more safely.

“The drought of recent years has increased the risk of forest fires in our forests. The fire brigades in the country are well equipped to fight forest fires. Of course, nothing is so good that we cannot do it better – and we do. We are preparing for changes in time, especially in emergency response, and are therefore equipping two police helicopters so that they can support the fire fighters on the ground in extinguishing forest fires in the future. The helicopters will be given external load hooks to which a foldable external fire container can be attached, ”said Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Thomas Strobl in Schluchsee. The occasion was an exercise during which Interior Minister Thomas Strobl found out about loading the container and the unloading process.

In recent years the risk of forest fires has increased in Baden-Württemberg due to high temperatures in summer and extreme drought. The number of wildfires has increased. The fires could of course be fought quickly thanks to the rapid and targeted intervention of the fire services. As a reaction to the increased risk, the forestry has stepped up its preventive measures and the fire brigades have prepared for vegetation fires in operational planning, through training and special technology.

Fight forest fires together
“In the event of a forest fire in Baden-Württemberg, we mainly rely on the ground-based deployment of fire services. The support from the air through reconnaissance flights and targeted fire-fighting measures can be a useful and valuable support. And that is what the police can do in the future. We have technically upgraded a first helicopter since May 2020, and a second will be upgraded from October 2020. This means that it is now possible to attach external extinguishing containers – so-called “Bambi Buckets” – with up to 910 liters of water to the external load hook of the police helicopter, ”explained Minister Thomas Strobl.

The external extinguishing tanks can be filled on lakes but also on mobile water tanks of the fire brigade. The extinguishing water can then be flown over the fire site and delivered there with pinpoint accuracy. As a link between the fire brigade units on the ground and the helicopters, so-called flight assistants are available, who perfectly complement and coordinate the operational measures on the ground and from the air.

“With the external extinguishing containers now available, large vegetation fires can now be extinguished faster, more effectively and more safely for the emergency services. The excellent cooperation between the police and the fire brigades will be continued successfully at this point, ”said Interior Minister Thomas Strobl.

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