BER: After school directly to the airport fire brigade


BER: After school directly to the airport fire brigade

03/31/2022, 7:02 pm

| Reading time: 5 minutes

In future, the fire brigade at the BER Schönefeld airport plant will train their own junior staff.

In future, the fire brigade at the BER Schönefeld airport plant will train their own junior staff.

Photo: Soeren Stache / dpa

At BER, graduates now have the opportunity to train themselves as firefighters.

Schoenefeld. Work as an administrative clerk quickly became boring for Anika Bogdain. After three years of training and a year with the lower regulator, she decided to refocus. “I noticed that volunteer firefighters weren’t enough for me as a hobby anymore.” For six months, the 23-year-old, originally from Buckow, Märkische Schweiz, has been completing her training as a firefighter at BER Airport – practically like a second chance. “I am very happy to have taken this path,” says Bogdain. “The versatility in this job is incredible.”

Bogdain’s way is the usual so far. Anyone who wants to join the fire brigade in Germany usually first has to learn another profession and only then can they qualify through further training to become a firefighter or paramedic. Things will be different at the capital’s airport in the future. Together with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Cottbus, BER now offers training to graduates to become a “factory firefighter” directly and without detours. The first year starts in August. Interested parties have been able to apply online for one of six positions since Thursday.

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The BER factory firefighters need up to 50 young people in three years

He expects numerous interested parties, said Aletta von Massenbach, president of the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport Company. “This gives the airport firefighters the opportunity to better meet the staffing needs with their own resources.” Andreas Klupsch, head of the Schönefeld airport fire brigade, also has high hopes for the new lineup. “The firefighters are not fully trained and the number of candidates is very limited,” said Klupsch, who also chairs the Brandenburg Fire Brigade Association. At the airport firefighters, who have a total of 295 employees, around 40 would retire by 2025 due to age. “So by then 40 to 50 young people will be needed.”

The airport’s firefighters aren’t the only ones taking part in the new training course. The fire brigade from the BASF chemical factory in Schwarzheide and the steelmaker Arcelor Mittal in Eisenhüttenstadt also want to train six and two young people respectively from August. According to Klupsch, carmaker Tesla, which recently opened its plant in Grünheide, has also expressed interest in four or six apprenticeships.

The Minister of Economy and Labor of Brandenburg, Jörg Steinbach, wants to motivate school leavers in particular to apply for training as a plant firefighter. “Especially in the technical job descriptions there are great development opportunities and good earning potential,” the SPD politician said at the start of the application process on Thursday. Many other role models are needed that “hopefully find many imitators”. One such model is Anika Bogdain, his only woman of the year.

Training salary up to around 1120 euros

You have to be physically fit, says the intern. A woman is up to the challenge like a man. “We all do the same job”. Those who wish can do it. He will definitely stay with the airport fire brigade, gain a few more years of work experience and then continue his career. “Especially as a woman, you also need to make a statement.” She would be very happy to have more female support.

In any case, the salary is independent of gender. Depending on the training year, a training allowance of between € 1009.20 and € 1119.33 is paid. If the performance is good, there is also an acquisition guarantee. After two and a half years of service, the gross salary is around 3,000 euros gross plus allowance for work on Sundays and holidays.

Unlike conventional firefighters, who are usually subordinate to the municipality or city and must be prepared for all damage or disaster situations, the plant firefighters specialize in the respective specifics and possible disaster scenarios of their area of ​​activity – in the case of BASF, for example, chemical disasters, in the case of open pit mining operations like LEAG in Lusatia, for example, on mining accidents or at airports due to fires or plane crashes.

The firefighters of the BER factory make about 3000 calls per year

There are a total of three fire brigade barracks on the BER site, where 270 operational and 25 administrative operators are stationed. All three stations are manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. According to FBB, firefighters are activated about 3,000 times a year, including fires, medical emergencies or technical assistance. The airport’s fire brigade fleet includes five so-called fire engines, which are used in the event of a plane fire. The purchase cost around 1.2 million euros each.

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