Austrian operational fire brigades support industries

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Innovations and challenges discussed at the conference

As reported by CTIF, 500 people attended the third specialized conference of Austrian operational fire brigades in Bergheim near Salzburg.

The two-day event focused on essential innovations and future challenges in operational fire protection.

The conference, held every four years by the Specialist Committee of the Operational Fire Brigades of the Austrian Federal Fire Brigade Association (ÖBFV), included a specialist exhibition with over 50 companies.

The pandemic extended the interval between conferences to seven years, with the last event held in 2017.

Thomas Docekal, Chairman of the Austrian operational fire brigades, stated: “I see the conference as an important component in the training of our members in preventive and defensive fire protection.

“It offers us the opportunity to look beyond the borders of our own federal state and to strengthen our network.”

The role of operational fire brigades

Fire Brigade President Robert Mayer commented: “Defensive fire protection cannot compensate for preventive fire protection.

“Therefore, operational fire brigades play a central role in the safety of a company or institution.

“The conference provided a perfect framework for further education, exchange, and knowledge transfer.”

During a panel discussion, the economic benefits of operational fire brigades for companies were highlighted.

Docekal added: “Depending on the economic situation, operational fire brigades are often a topic of discussion in executive suites. It is necessary to constantly make persuasive arguments.”

Feedback from companies

“We have received feedback from several companies that the operational fire brigade is an important support in the company because it ensures safety,” said Docekal.

He emphasized the role of fire brigade members as first responders who are familiar with the area and can intervene quickly.

Operational fire brigades are crucial for preventing and minimizing damages in emergencies.

They maintain close coordination with management and understand the priorities of their respective companies.

Background on Austrian operational fire brigades

In Austria, there are 313 operational fire brigades within various facilities such as industrial plants, hospitals, airports, and shopping centres.

These brigades primarily focus on preventive measures to protect premises, employees, and customers.

Operational fire brigades may be mandated by authorities or voluntarily established by companies.

They consist of full-time staff, mixed forms, or purely voluntary members.

These brigades are represented by their regional fire brigade association, and members receive specified training.

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