WIESBADEN, Germany -- While German American Friendship Festival patrons joyously laughed on the rides, nervously screamed in the haunted house, and sang along with the on-stage music acts on the last day of the festival July 4, first responders from the City of Wiesbaden and U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden worked together to extinguish a brush fire that threatened residential property along Hans-Bredow Strasse.
The rapid response of joint firefighting organizations from the U.S. military and City of Wiesbaden communities saved a family home, while limiting damage to backyard property and an adjacent field.
The fire is believed to have started in a nearby farmer’s field and moved rapidly, pushed by strong winds towards residential homes in the area.
Recognizing the immediate need for more water, the Wiesbaden Fire Brigade reached out to the USAG Wiesbaden Department of Emergency Services for assistance as they waited the arrival of more firefighting assets from the city.
Getting water to the point of need within in the first thirty minutes was crucial to preventing the fire from spreading, said emergency services deputy director, Cody Ferguson.
Garrison DES immediately responded by dispatching two vehicles – an aircraft rescue firefighting vehicle and a firefighting engine truck – and firefighters, bringing a combined water capacity of more than 3,800 gallons to the scene.
The response from USAG Wiesbaden firefighting assets were able to fill that gap until more City of Wiesbaden firefighting equipment could arrive on site, added Ferguson. Three stations from the City of Wiesbaden Fire Department and five volunteer fire departments from the local area assisted, also contributed to help control the fire.
After the initial call to the USAG Wiesbaden firefighters, and with a concerted effort between the two firefighting communities, the approximate five-hectare fire was extinguished within two hours.
Responding to requests for assistance, and participating in joint training events, helps solidify and expand the mutually beneficial connection that exists between the U.S. and host nation first responders.
The U.S. military community often sees host nation emergency equipment responding to on-base emergencies -- it is important to show that support between our two communities is not one way, but mutual, said Ferguson.
The shared mission, and goal, is to ensure that both communities are as safe as possible.