By Ms. Mary Ann Davis (IMCOM)January 29, 2018
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Directorate of Emergency Services Fire Department was recognized for its professionals and superior performance when it received four annual awards from Installation Management Command-Europe.
USAG RP competed against six garrisons to win IMCOM-Europe's Civilian Firefighter, Fire Officer, Fire Prevention Program and Fire Department of the Year.
IMCOM-E Civilian Fire Fighter of the Year Boris Roth was a volunteer firefighter, but turned his hobby into a profession in 2011 -- and his enthusiasm for the job is demonstrated daily.
"I try to always give 110 percent (on the job) every year," the Germersheim Army Depot firefighter said. "In this profession, everything is important -- not just the performance of individuals, but the whole team. Everyone contributes a piece to it."
Last year, Roth demonstrated his duty expertise when he was hand selected for a temporary promotion to crew chief, which ensured the Germersheim fire department was successful and ran smoothly. During several fire incidents last year, Roth prevented severe damage to structures by directing crew members' actions. He was also selected to be the first trained on new firefighting apparatus. With his newly-acquired knowledge, he trained 30 fellow firefighters and maintained a 100 percent training rate.
"Training is very important for firefighters," Roth said. "This job demands a lot from you, both physically and mentally. Your technical skills should be constantly trained and brought up to date."
USAG RP Fire Chief Marshall Fiedler said he was proud to have Roth on his Germersheim team.
"Firefighter Boris Roth has been filling in as crew chief for quite some time, and he's really stepped up to the plate," the chief said. "He is clearly one of our emerging leaders in the department and is vital to the continued success of the fire station at Germersheim."
Although his was an individual award, Roth said it was a team win.
"I am very proud of my team. We work well together, and even when problems occur, everyone helps each other," he said.
Named IMCOM-Europe's Fire Officer of the year, Baumholder Fire Department Assistant Chief of Operations Wolfgang Veeck is committed to training and provides more than 4,000 hours of instruction to his firefighters.
"Without professional training, you can't reach a target," said the veteran firefighter with 35 years of service, who encouraged his team to complete more than the 120-hour minimum training required annually. His training resourcefulness was also lauded as he partnered with local community fire departments to hold emergency medical training for firefighters, saving $8,500 and strengthening civic partnerships.
Veeck's structural firefighting expertise was apparent, while responding to emergency events and 12 fires, resulting in no loss of life. He was also instrumental for his station's outstanding performance during their 2017 Fire and Emergency Service Program Assessment.
Chief Fiedler commended Veeck for his commitment as a firefighter and leader.
"Wolfgang Veeck is an outstanding senior fire officer and has done a fantastic job at Station 5 Baumholder. His leadership is reflected throughout the station, which contributes to Baumholder providing top-notch customer service to our Soldiers, civilians and Army families."
Veeck, who began his career at 16 as an Idar-Oberstein volunteer fireman, credited his win as a team effort.
"I've always wanted to help other people and liked the team spirit of the fire department," he said. "I'm honored and extremely proud of our whole fire department team."
Named as IMCOM-Europe's top Fire Prevention Program, USAG RP executed the Army's most complex plan, covering 3,700 facilities in 26 geographically separated installations and spanning 150 miles. The fire prevention team participated in 523 construction meetings and reviewed 186 plans, enabling the relocation of tenant units in support of the consolidation of Europe's infrastructure program.
The team provided 138 public education classes on extinguishers, fire warden and general workplace safety, resulting in 110 new fire wardens trained and 2,400 trained personnel. Additionally, the team exceeded stringent Department of Defense standards, by conducting 250 inspections and 150 fire drills in child development centers, child youth services and schools resulting in zero deficiencies during the 2017 accreditation assessment.
"The Fire Prevention team are star performers," Chief Fiedler said. "They have a tough job -- between inspections, public education classes, plans review and their own recurring training requirements -- they stay hopping every day. I'm very proud of them."
IMCOM-Europe's 2017 Fire Department of the Year has 203 firefighters and six fire stations and preserved the mission effectiveness of 45,000 personnel. The fire department's expertise in structural firefighting was demonstrated in 418 emergency responses to include 12 fires with no loss of life. It is also leading the pack in environmental stewardship by reducing paper usage by 30 percent and completing requirements for the Army's Green Boot Program certification.
Additionally, garrison firefighters participated in host nation fire department events and volunteered more than 1,000 hours of off-duty time in local youth firefighter programs to fortify its solid relationships with host nation departments. Lastly, the fire department capitalized on technology by adopting computer tablets to provide mobile work centers for fire inspectors, replacing traditional desktop computers and portable devices, while saving the garrison $45,000.
"We're ecstatic about the awards and honored to represent the outstanding Army firefighters of IMCOM-Europe," Chief Fiedler concluded. "We're a young garrison fire department, and the team has worked hard to get where we are in just a few short years. I'm impressed by the pride, dedication and commitment demonstrated each day by our firefighters. Although we could only nominate one person for each category, the selection for one is a win for the team. It's definitely a unique organization, and I'm honored to just be a part of it."