When the going gets tough, the tough get going

Last year we reported on the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW), which selected our ICARUS 40.14 to assist its local teams stationed all over Germany.

We return to Germany to tell you about a joint exercise held during March in Sondershausen, involving the local fire department and a THW team that used their new ICARUS during a simulated emergency evacuation of inhabitants and their possessions, in anticipation of the hypothetical collapse of a nearby dam.

The volunteers of the Sondershausen section of THW told us that they were very satisfied with their ICARUS, which demonstrated during the exercise that it was able to cope with the most extreme situations: from removing rubble with its shovel, to transporting objects or people at height using its basket and other accessories. Several team members are now completing driving courses so that they can use this versatile vehicle to its fullest potential (in real emergencies).

If new recruit ICARUS has a bright future ahead of it, there is a veteran (an APOLLO 25.6) that has already accumulated a remarkable service record working with firefighters based at the Buchloe station.

When there are no emergencies to attend to, the APOLLO 25.6 carries out heavy-lifting duties at the station, moving materials in the warehouses or participating in routine drills; but when the alarm sounds, it is ready to join in the relief efforts if called upon.

Since 2011, when it was purchased, our APOLLO 25.6 has been deployed in countless rescue operations of all kinds, thanks to its characteristic power and agility; on more than one occasion our APOLLO took full advantage of its four-wheel drive and sealed cabin ventilation system, even passing through the curtain of smoke and flames to extinguish fires at their source.

In altogether different circumstances (during the recent episodes of bad weather that have plagued Northern Europe), our APOLLO used its lifting capabilities to reach unsafe chimneys, damaged roofs and animals swept away by floodwater. More straightforward and simpler missions have included clearing traffic accident wreckage and, using specific apparatus, removing dangerous oil and fuel spillages from road surfaces.

Judging by the photo, our vehicle looks to be in great shape, so we are sure that it will provide many more years of distinguished service!