Who doesn’t dream of visiting a large professional fire department some time? For twelve girls and boys of Veilsdorf youth fire department, this dream has come true. This was made possible by Ramona Palm-Eichhorn, who works in Packing for the HABA Family of Companies. She silently and secretly proposed the youth fire department as one of the 80 good deeds. Not even her husband Dirk, youth worker and trainer, had any idea and was just as surprised in the end.
The trip to Frankfurt was the first big excursion for the twelve children and teenagers aged 9 to 16, and the youth worker is happy for his protégés, who are completing their training full of enthusiasm. “It’s getting more and more difficult to get children excited about volunteering these days,” he says, and that’s why it’s all the nicer that something like this is made possible. The fire departments are not able to take trips on this scale, and they don’t want to be a drain on parents’ pockets either.
“It’s getting more and more difficult to get children excited about volunteering these days”
At six o’clock in the morning, the bus sets off for Frankfurt, with the group perfectly kitted out in new T-shirts. Shortly after arrival, the tour of Fire and Rescue Station 1 begins and everyone is amazed at what they see right from the beginning. “Seeing ten fire trucks next to each other is something special for us,” says Eichhorn and, with his protégés, absorbs every word of the former fireman who guides the group through the fire station. They visit the fire and rescue training center, which also includes a fire house, the outdoor area with a railway training facility, and an underground train simulator. The drill tower takes them high over the skyline of Frankfurt. Finally, his protégés are allowed to crawl through the cages that firefighters normally use to practice emergencies. The boys and girls, unlike their role models, are in the cages without respiratory protection suits and can nevertheless imagine how tight it must be when fully kitted out.
The guided tour takes almost three hours. A few souvenir photos are taken at the end, where of course the poster in which the group thanks the HABA Family of Companies is on display. Dirk Eichhorn is extremely pleased that they had a chance to “get out for once” and even more importantly: that those who get involved are given something back. Inside, he hopes a little that the young volunteer fire department will continue to grow.