For the second time in a row, the Eggesin Volunteer Fire Department in Germany purchased a turntable ladder from Magirus's used vehicle fleet. The city acquired its first used turntable ladder in 2001. At the time, the reason for this purchase was the dismantling of Eggesin's slab concrete buildings. According to construction regulations, a second emergency escape route had to be created during the dismantling. The Eggesin officials decided on a Magirus DLK 23-12 made in 1980, which featured a two-person rescue cage that had to be mounted on the top of the ladder. After 15 years of service, this now 36-year-old vehicle was ready to be replaced.
The current Magirus turntable, the DLK 23-12 GL CC, is equipped with a computerized turntable ladder controller and a permanently installed three-person, wide-dimensioned rescue cage. It also has three double-flash omnidirectional beacons, a front beacon, working spotlights as well as LED equipment compartment illumination. It even includes an electricity generator with electric starter and charge retention. Fire department supervisor Uwe Schiebel finds that the ten-year-old vehicle (built 1996) is the perfect successor to the old one: "Our employees, especially the machine operators, are all very satisfied. The technical innovations of the turntable ladder lessen our workload substantially, probably by 150 to 200 percent."
Technical innovations urgently needed
One of the new technical features is the 3.5 m long articulated arm. It allows the first ladder section to be angled by up to 75 degrees, which significantly expands the uses of the turntable ladder during firefighting operations or rescues of injured or obese people. "In regard to the local realities of Eggesin and its many narrow streets, the "new" turntable ladder presents clear advantages," states Uwe Schiebel.
The Iveco EuroCargo chassis is driven by a 270 hp (199 kW) diesel motor, which gets the 15-tonne vehicle with fully automatic transmission to its destination rapidly and without stress on the driver. The combined feed system ensures that compressed air and battery voltage are always available via the mains supply.
Procurement in three months
Only just under three months passed from the decision to purchase the vehicle until its delivery. On 12 September 2016, it was ready to pick up at the Magirus Excellence Center in Ulm. "The budget for the procurement of the turntable ladder was not foreseen in the annual budget, but our previous ladder had succumbed to the ravages of time and needed extensive inspections," explains Uwe Schiebel, emphasising: "We know that the provision of such investments cannot be taken for granted. We are all the more pleased that in this case, all parties involved – from the town council to the Fire Department – pulled together in one direction."
After extensive training and instruction that built on the fire department's prior knowledge, the turntable ladder was handed over to the Eggesin Fire Department by Martin Schneider, the Magirus representative for second-hand vehicles. The Eggesin Fire Department supervisor was not about to miss the opportunity to pick up the vehicle personally in September in Ulm. The vehicle officially went into service on the 800th anniversary celebration of the city's founding. During the celebration on 17 September 2016, mayor Dietmar Jesse presented the symbolic key to the vehicle. The turntable ladder, however, had already been used for the first time.