The vehicle boasts over 1,000 horsepower, weighs 40 tonnes and reaches a top speed of 140 kilometres per hour. In order to master this vehicle safely, seven firefighters from Memmingen Airport have now completed a worldwide new driving safety training course.
Three metres wide, twelve metres long, nearly four metres high and loaded with around 12,500 litres of water and 1,600 litres of extinguishing foam. As extremely high temperatures are generated during an aircraft fire, the airfield fire-fighting vehicles (AFFVs) specially designed for airports have to be at the scene in less than three minutes. Major engine power in conjunction with the large volume of extinguishing water and the associated high weight require great attention during an operation. If you want to get behind the wheel of such a powerhouse, you need more than just a few driving lessons. Two trainers from the ARFF Training Academy, experts in the training of Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) personnel, spent two days on the airport grounds training airport firefighters on special courses – acceleration, slalom and cornering techniques and evasive manoeuvres. “The safe and secure handling of such a vehicle is the basis of our operational readiness,” explains Airport Managing Director, Ralf Schmid. The training was tailored to the needs of Memmingen Airport, and falls in line with all the requirements of international training programmes of the security authorities. Memmingen Airport was the first customer to take advantage of the new offer, which is aimed at both long-standing employees and new team members of the airport fire service. In addition to key safety aspects, it also takes efficiency issues into account. Further training sessions are to follow.