Conrad Dietrich Magirus was a fire-fighter of deep conviction. 150 years ago, when every fire-fighting mission involved great risk to life, his courage, determination and new ideas revolutionised the art of fire-fighting And he was very successful: Since then the level of safety for fire-fighters has been raised enormously. Nevertheless today there are also everyday missions which take fire-fighters to their limits and even beyond. The Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award is intended to make the public more aware of this outstanding service. Starting on Friday, March 21 all 1.3 million active fire-fighters in Germany have been called on to compete for the title "Fire Brigade Team of the year 2014". The international competition began at the same time, inviting fire brigade teams from around the world to join the race. "We should be thankful for the fact that in Germany we can rely on such a tight network of fire brigades and that professional help arrives quickly, regardless of whether at the scene of a flood, a major traffic accident or for conventional fire-fighting," says Tobias Knebel of competition organiser Magirus. In order to honour these essential services and the often voluntary dedication on the part of the fire brigades, the award was established in 2012. The competition is open to all 25,000 German fire brigades – Voluntary and professional, corporate and plant fire brigades. In order to cover the wide variety of assignments mastered by fire brigades, three categories are available: "Fire-Fighting", "Rescue Operations" and "Community Service". And in the context of falling membership levels in volunteer fire brigades the competition demonstrates the wide variety of activities accomplished by fire brigades and to help attract new fire-fighters.
An entry in the competition has the same chances of success in each category, explains Dr. Roland Demke, head of the fire-fighting academy LFS Würzburg (Staatliche Feuerwehrschule Würzburg and member of the specialist jury: "As the jury, we evaluate the approaches and successful accomplishment of the mission as well as the team's performance. Missions with a complicated or innovative strategy thus have the same chances as for example an unusually extensive assistance mission, " said Demke.
Participation is fast and easy
The important factor is that the mission submitted has to have taken place between September 29, 2013 and October 6, 2014. On the other hand the type, size and equipment of the fire brigades in question are not taken in into account. "Each year in Germany approximately 3.5 million fire-brigade missions take place. This dedication involved is crucially important to the community, and the Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award is meant to honour this service even more, " says Tobias Knebel.
Fire brigades wishing to participate only need to submit a short written report of the mission with the most important information on procedures and tactical actions together with photo material. The application period lasts from Friday, March 21 until Monday, October 6. Participation forms and detail information are available at www.world-of-firefighters.com
Exclusive trip to the FDNY
A prominent jury of fire-brigade experts with many years of fire-fighting experience will choose the best of all the missions submitted in each category. The winners in the three categories will be chosen from the finalists and the overall winner will be determined by public online voting. The mission with the most votes will not only earn its brigade the prestigious Conrad Dietrich Magirus statue, but will also be rewarded with an unusual special prize: The Fire Brigade Team of the Year can also look forward to a trip to New York, including a visit to the largest metropolitan fire brigade in the world. And they're sure to get an exclusive look behind the scenes at the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY).
Additional information and applications can be found at www.world-of-firefighters.com