When toxic substances leak …

When toxic substances leak ...

How a house or barn fire is extinguished, says hochstadt fire chief wolfgang glotz. Even taking care of injured people in a traffic accident or getting a cat out of a manhole is no problem for glotz and his comrades.

But if dangerous chemicals or radioactive substances come into play, he is happy to have an expert on hand to give advice and support to the incident commander. One such expert is hochstadt firefighter dieter puttner. As "district fire chief hazardous materials" puttner heads the six-person team of hazardous materials advisors at the volunteer fire departments in the district of erlangen-hochstadt.

Active in hochstadt since 1975

Puttner is now turning 60 and has to give up his job as a full-time firefighter for the city of erlangen. He has also been active in the volunteer fire department in his hometown of hochstadt since 1975 and now heads the hazardous materials team on a voluntary basis. The graduate engineer (FH) is not only specially trained for this, but also has the authorization to put a mobile blue light on his private vehicle, which is equipped with special technology.

Puttner can be alerted in several ways. For the dispatcher in the rescue control center, a hazardous material alarm keyword is sufficient to also have the hazardous material expert printed out. Explosion, gas leak, oil, bomb discovery were such key words. If necessary, the district fire chief for hazardous materials can also be alerted at any time by the respective incident command.

One of the last missions was a fire in the hardening plant of the company schaeffler in hochstadt. "We are advising the operations management as to which substances could be released and which protective clothing would be necessary", says puttner. The next steps are recommended to the fire chiefs on site, for example whether a warning to the population is necessary.

Because even a dangerous goods expert can’t know everything, he has a notebook with special software and lots of reference books at his disposal. Also templates and documents for the calculation of the dispersion of pollutants.

Puttner expects 20 to 30 assignments per year. Among other things, he has already been called out to chlorine gas in the hochstadt open-air swimming pool, a gas leak in spardorf, diesel spillage in an accident in eschenau and a rough bang at the fortuna kulturfabrik, which then turned out to be a firecracker by an FCN fan club.

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