GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Fire Department hosted a special signing ceremony to renew community partnership with the Grafenwoehr Fire Department on Tuesday, April 27. At the Tower Barracks fire station, an official agreement of understanding was signed by USAG Bavaria Commander Col. Christopher Danbeck and Grafenwoehr Mayor Edgar Knobloch.
Additionally, special guests in attendance were key players from the Grafenwoehr Fire Station including: Fire Chief Alexander Richter, Assistant Fire Chief Gerhart Schneider, Assistant Fire Chief Volker Nocher and Assistant Fire Chief Tobias Zwicher.
“From Soldiers to local volunteer firefighters, we are one community,” said Danbeck to the honored guests. “I greatly appreciate your support and willingness to come out here and sign this document, as it demonstrates that we are stronger together.”
The USAG Bavaria Fire Department and the Grafenwoehr Fire Department have been working in tandem since 1950. According to USAG Bavaria Fire Chief Josef Rodler, decades of emersion resulted in the Tower Barracks fire station being composed of 63 Army firefighters and 200 firefighters from Grafenwoehr to-date.
“We continue to prove our support for each other,” said Knobloch. “It is great that we have it on paper now.”
This multinational partnership results in approximately 10 to 15 joint training and fire prevention activity sessions annually, according to Rodler.
“One big benefit is that there is lots of cross training and certification opportunities for both Army firefighters and local national firefighters,” he explained. “We have one goal, and that is to help people — no matter if they are on-post or off-post. So the more people who are cross trained and certified, the better.”
Grafenwoehr Fire Chief Alexander Richter added, “Mayor Knobloch, Col. Danbeck and all our fire leaders coming together demonstrates that we all work together on a daily basis, just now it is officially documented.”
As testament to the hard work both teams put in to developing an excellent fire station program, the USAG Bavaria Fire Department was awarded “Best Medium Size Fire Department” by IMCOM-Europe for the past five consecutive years, from 2015 through 2020.
The USAG Bavaria Fire Department has similar partnerships with multiple local fired departments neighboring installations in Grafenwoehr, Vilseck and Hohenfels. Following the documented partnership renewal with the Grafenwoehr Fire Department, several others are expected to take place later this year.
Call the on-post Fire Department immediately in the case of a medical, natural or man-made disaster. The DSN for Tower and Rose Barracks, Hohenfels and Garmisch is 112. If using a cellphone on-post, call CIV 09641-83-112 for Tower Barracks, CIV 09662-83-112 for Rose Barracks, 09742-83-112 for Hohenfels and CIV 08821-750-112 for Garmisch.