By Ms. Mary Ann Davis (IMCOM)February 8, 2019
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Directorate of Emergency Services Fire Department has once again proven its dedication to military and local communities with two Installation Management Command Directorate-Europe awards.
Germersheim Army Depot Firefighter Sven Mayer recently earned the 2018 IMCOM-Europe Emergency Medical Service Provider of the Year and the USAG RP Fire Department was named IMCOM-Europe's 2018 Large Fire Department of the Year.
Mayer began his career as a garrison firefighter in 2008 and later became an emergency medical technician in December 2014 because he enjoyed helping people.
"My interest in medical care started through a colleague I knew in Heidelberg," Mayer explained. "I wanted to learn more so I could provide more assistance."
His penchant for learning was evident in his completion of several Regional Fire Training Center certifications and National Incident Management Systems accreditations, ensuring compliance with host nation and U.S. training requirements.
"I try to pass on my knowledge to colleagues so we can do a good job as a team," said the EMT, who volunteers as a civilian firefighter and German Red Cross volunteer in his off-duty time.
Although there were many reasons why Mayer won the award, one event stood out -- he saved someone's life.
Last year, Mayer and his team responded to a medical emergency on GAD where an individual suffered a severe cardiovascular episode. When the team arrived, the victim was not breathing and lacked a pulse. Mayer went to work providing CPR and successfully used an automatic external defibrillator to restart the victim's heart to save his life. A doctor who attended the individual later said the team had performed their work flawlessly.
"Mr. Mayer is an outstanding firefighter who is committed to serving the Army," said USAG RP Fire Chief Marshall Fiedler. "There's no better feeling than knowing that we saved a man's life that day. It's something that all firefighters of USAG Rheinland-Pfalz can be proud of."
While being a firefighter and EMT is tough work, Mayer said he enjoys his work because "it's an important and well-respected job in our society, and through my work, I feel I can give something back."
The USAG RP DES Fire Department also received accolades for protecting IMCOM-Europe's largest garrison of 41,000 people on 29 sites.
In 2018, garrison fire department professionals responded to more than 900 calls for service to include 22 fires with no loss of life. Its fast-acting fire teams traveled great distances demonstrating an aggregate response time at 88 percent compliance rate -- the best in Europe.
Garrison firefighters responded to several emergency calls to include a solar panel fire atop a facility. Their expertise and quick actions resulted in less than $80,000 in building damage. Fire teams also conducted 385 fire drills in garrison facilities and led 14 joint exercises with local communities.
Always committed to professional development, garrison fire teams earned 65 certifications and received 35 NIMS accreditations online, saving more than $20,000 in training funds. Garrison fire departments also implemented a job qualification standard so newly hired firefighters were armed with knowledge and skills prior to formal training to enhance their qualifications and duty performance.
"I'm very proud to be a part of our firefighters, fire officers and our organization. Our department is young and has rapidly grown with the garrison," Fiedler said. "Each member of our team continues to impress me as we strive each day to provide the best customer service possible to our Soldiers, Army families and civilians. We are looking forward to making more progress and continue to work to serve our community."
Good luck to Mayer and the garrison fire department as they compete at the IMCOM headquarters level.