Fire& flame: life threatened by fire in restroom stall

Bochum/Cologne (NW) – The fifth season of "Fire& Flame" makes again correctly Bock on fire department. The title of the third episode sums up what it’s all about at the beginning of the episode. Suddenly, a supposedly small firefighting operation turns into a human rescue – and the pulse of everyone involved skyrockets.

Episode Review: Episode 3 (Season 5)

"Fire 1, city park Bochum, smoke development from an old toilet building" initially sounds quite unspectacular as an alarm. When neither smoke nor flames are to be seen at the approach, the mood of the firefighters is still quite relaxed. "These are my favorite missions, where I have to look for the fire," one of the forces quips while still in the vehicle.

That changes when it’s revealed that there’s supposed to be another person in the restroom building. Suddenly, everyone shifts up at least two gears. "Come along, with everything," orders the vehicle driver succinctly to his attack squad already equipped with compressed air breathing apparatus (PA). "Now we have to make chain. Now we’re talking," Jeff explains, as the operation changes from firefighting to human rescue. Jeff is squad leader of the TOJ unit (s.u.), which is providing the second PA squad on this call.

The person in the building is supposed to be a homeless person. "These are people like you and me," Marcel clarifies. In fact, instead of one person, the first squad even finds two men sleeping on the floor in the men’s restroom. Beside itself they had lighted coal, in order to warm itself. "Get out, get out, get out!" demand the forces the two again and again, until they leave the building independently.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

When the men, who apparently live in the toilet, are handed over to the rescue service, the tension drops instantly from the emergency forces. Because the coal is quickly extinguished with a bottle of soda and two buckets of water. Accompanied by thoughtful, dramatic music, the PA personnel inspect the building and become acquainted with the not exactly homely-looking toilet in which the two people had set themselves up. "Nobody wants to live like this," is the serious comment of a PA carrier.

At the end of the mission, the "boss" even praises them. This time, TOJ group leader Jeff is completely satisfied with his training session: "That was exactly the pace I wanted to see."Because the ambulance service detects an elevated level of carbon monoxide in the blood of both men, the emergency doctor recommends that they be treated in the hospital. One man accepts the offer, but the second doesn’t want to. Therefore, the police take him temporarily into custody.

The next sequence lightens the mood of the viewers, because it’s about food. We learn that the professional firefighters from Bochum are very lucky. Her colleague Sven turns out to be a true gourmet who really enjoys cooking. Despite the loving banter in the kitchen, everyone is ultimately happy to get such delicious food on their plates.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

On the second call, we accompany an ambulance crew to a fallen child. A little boy is said to have fallen from several meters. On the scene, the firefighters are confronted with significant communication difficulties. "From the 5. Stick fallen?" The women just can’t get the right info out of the kid’s parents at first.

"It’s a different emotional burden for us," Judith openly admits when it comes to injured children. Then the firefighters find out that the father with his son in his arms has fallen down five stairs in the stairwell. Because of a bump on the head, little Mahmoud comes to a children’s hospital, where the doctors actually find a concussion. The next day he is allowed to return home.

The episode, already very colorful and emotional up to this point, ends with an animal rescue mission. The men of the Bochum fire department not only have a big heart for animals, but also show their skill in dealing with wild animals. A roebuck had strayed into a garden from which there was no escape. With a net the emergency forces catch the animal and drive him into the countryside. Released in a field, the exhausted roebuck did not want to move from the spot at first.

Having suffered extensive open abrasions on a wooden wall in the garden, it was a bit of a surprise that the fire department released the animal into the wild under the guidance of the hunting leaseholder. A short sighting by a veterinarian would have been at least an option. But: after a little motivation from Peter, the animal jumps away cheerfully. "This is already a matter of the heart," says animal rescuer Peter. (Review: Sven Buchenau)

Episode Review: episode 2 (season 5)

WDR demonstrated almost perfect timing with the second episode and the main topic of a chimney fire. It feels like there are more chimneys burning in Germany than ever before. But what actually is a chimney fire? And what burns there? Christian, Gunni and Jeff can explain it understandably for everyone. A layer of soot settles in the chimney due to excessively moist or low-quality wood. And die can catch fire. This results in temperatures of over 1.000 degrees Celsius. Problem is: water is ruled out as an extinguishing agent. The water vapor developing in the chimney (1.700-fold expansion) would blow up the masonry abruptly. The small openings at the top and bottom are insufficient for the steam to escape.

The fire department has no choice but to remove the deposits on the inside with the chimney sweep set (ball, brush). The firefighting crew from the city center station is supported by trainees from the Bochum fire department. The TOJs (Training on the Job) staff their own vehicle and move out with them throughout the metropolitan area. In Bochum, the junior staff are sometimes teasingly called firefighter embryos, at least that’s what Gunni says. "But they belong. They count the same as we do."

How strenuous and time-consuming the sweeping is becomes clear in the following sequence. "If you spend an hour in the basket moving up the chain, down the chain, up the chain, down the chain, then you’ll have back pain the next day and you’ll notice the little arms too," Jeff sums it up. From Jeff, the instructor of the TOJ squadron, comes also our quote of the episode. "I just expect the new ones (the TOJ) to be faster than the old ones. This simply took too long. And that’s why I became a little more polite over the radio," says the 39-year-old.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

During the reconnaissance of the building, the firefighters experience a few surprises. The attic is full of junk, a carpet roll and Styrofoam plates lean directly against the chimney. A stove pane is broken during the operation, a resident runs back into the building and reports on his own firefighting operation. In the cellar finally the forces come across a fish farm with Nemo and Dorrie. And while sweeping out the chimney, a few stones suddenly take their leave as well.

Countless troughs of debris full of soot and ashes have to be carried out of the cellar to the front of the house and put out. In the end it takes almost 2 hours "until all the snot is removed".

In the second mission, an elderly lady in Wattenscheid has to be helped. She has high blood pressure, pressure in the chest, shaky legs and shortness of breath. Suspicion of heart attack. The ambulance and the emergency ambulance from rescue station 7 are called to the scene. On the spot the firefighters then learn that Barbel had been attacked in the morning and had already been to the hospital that day as a precautionary measure. By the way, the examinations in the hospital do not confirm the heart attack. For it the physicians determine a diabetes illness.

In the third mission, the firefighters have to help a beekeeper relocate a colony of bees. The firefighting part of the job is basically limited to placing and holding ladder parts. The part is nevertheless worth seeing and informative.

You can check out the episode reviews for previous seasons here:

From the 27. January 2022, WDR also launches the new "Fire& Flame" Podcast. Listen in on the WDR website, in the WDR 2 app or on many podcast platforms.

Episode review: Episode 1 (Season 5)

Right at the beginning, the guards 2 and 3 of the professional fire department Bochum have to move out with two fire engines to a "fire 3 smoke from building or room" in an industrial area. Platoon leader Christian is accompanied by trainee Malte, who has to cope with his first fire operation as a future platoon leader.

In addition to the tension and concentration, there is still time for a bit of competition: Which guard arrives first at the site of a construction company, which lies exactly on the border between the two guard areas?? Friendly ironic statements like "I don’t want them to steal my fire!The "firefighting" scene not only relieves the tension of the firefighters, but also entertains the spectators.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

On arrival, the situation at the fire scene is initially unclear – the typical chaotic first phase of an operation. The emergency services cannot access the site of the construction company concerned with their vehicles because the gate is locked. There is usually no staff on site on weekends. Only a strong smoke development from a hall is recognizable, open flames are not to be seen.

The investigation shows that probably the roof of the hall is on fire. An encroachment on the adjacent building is to be feared. The Bochum firefighters carry out a firefighting attack from the outside and set up a barricade position. As black smoke continues to be omnipresent, the experienced colleagues warn of the danger of a runaway ignition – the roof of the hall could "take off".

A firefighter pulls the cylinder at the rolling gate onto the site, others break open a glass door to the building with a pile driver and Halligan tool. Another danger may be lurking inside: according to a resident, there could be gas cylinders in the rooms.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

The tension in this episode is also contributed to by the fact that the firefighters proceeding in the interior attack do not initially find an open fire. Only after they take down a sheetrock ceiling with tear-in hooks, they discover a full fire under the roof cladding. The owner is able to refute the threat of gas cylinders.

The owner of the hall finally suggests the use of his mobile excavator. With this one of his workers tears open the roof. Flames burst out. Now the fire department can finally fight the fire effectively. "We can’t put out smoke, but we can put out flames!", says platoon leader Christian.

In the second mission of the first episode, viewers accompany an ambulance crew. Directly on the return journey of an employment from the hospital a "R1 Helpless person over house emergency call" is announced to it. This was released in a dwelling house, however no further information is available. A contact to the responsible nursing service does not exist at this time.

When they arrive at the scene, the two rescue workers are first confronted with the locked door of an apartment building. Despite support by the police nobody opens to them. This only happens after ringing several times with different residents . The rescue forces can now enter the house, but no one makes themselves noticeable afterwards. Finally a woman opens her apartment door.

She suspects the person she is looking for might be her neighbor, a woman who is hard of hearing. She may have fallen and can’t get to the door herself. The object is specially secured, so that an emergency opening of the door is not immediately possible. When the care service arrives, it creates with a key entrance to the dwelling.

The elderly lady has fallen, but is awake and responsive. There is no life-threatening situation. She is fully oriented, with only a bump on the head. Nevertheless, the paramedics advise her to have everything checked out in a clinic. She allows herself to be convinced ..

The first 45 minutes of the new season "Fire& Flame" are around. All in all, a successful start with tricky situations and obstacles that many firefighters and rescue service personnel will be familiar with from their operations. Clearly, the decisions of the leaders and the actions of the forces in detail leave room for discussion as to whether some things could or should have been solved differently. As a viewer, you look forward to the next 5 weeks and more missions of the Bochum fire department.

Episode review: Episode 6 (Season 4)

In this episode, Marcel experiences his first major fire as a platoon leader. When the emergency call is alerted, he already suspects evil. A tire warehouse on the highway is on fire. "Every time I drive by it, I think ‘oh God, if that ever burns, I hope you’re off duty’". On this day Marcel does not have off. "This could be a long night," his colleague says dryly.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

It quickly becomes clear that more units are needed. On the spot is a forklift driver, who obviously also owns the tire warehouse – a rescuer in the emergency, as it turns out. In no time at all, he drives pallets full of tires out of the danger zone – but he can’t get them all to safety from the flames in time. The tires are an optimal source of fire, which is why the fire keeps spreading. "It brings you to the edge of despair," Marcel admits. Even for the hardworking forklift driver, the situation is gradually becoming too dicey, so Marcel calls him back. "I’m chill, just let me work," the brave man asks him anyway.

"Dude, wat’n flames," shouts a firefighter. The drone images offered to the audience are not only spectacular, they are also accompanied by the appropriate music, so that you could think you were part of the scenario yourself.

In one of the last scenes, another forklift driver is asked to knock over a tower of pallets along with burning tires. That almost goes wrong. The tower not only wobbles alarmingly in the opposite direction, the forklift also tips forward briefly due to the high load. A scene that may well be critically evaluated. Finally, the fire can be brought under control. "Some train drivers wait years, if not decades, for a fire like this," Marcel sums up. Finally he praises his troop: "Ey, very cool malocht, yes.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

At the end of the episode, the TOJ training unit is on the road. A resident has discovered a fox at the cellar entrance. On closer inspection, Sebastian notices that the animal suffers from paralysis in its hind legs. Nevertheless, it is not easy to move the fox into a transport box. With patience, the budding firefighters manage to catch the fox and take it to a vet.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

The fox cannot free itself from its position – its hind legs seem to be paralyzed. Photo: WDR

Episode Review: Episode 5 (Season 4)

In the first call, the emergency services go to a car accident – a car has crashed into a truck. "Of course the alarm bells are ringing," says Marcel. He connects thereby bad employments, with pictures, which do not let go him partially any longer. Once again it is made clear: working for the fire department (whether professionally or voluntarily) is not only physically demanding and challenging, but also mentally. The injured driver is trapped. The steering wheel presses on her chest, making it difficult for her to breathe. Marcel calms the woman with his calm and empathetic manner. To free them, the roof is finally taken off.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

In another sequence, Katrin is on the way to an emergency with her colleague. "Stroke" is the keyword. "Every minute counts there," Katrin emphasizes. The 93-year-old patient can no longer articulate herself. You can see in her look how anxious and insecure she is – understandable, with the loss of the ability to speak. In the hospital, the suspected stroke is confirmed. In the meantime, the control center is already receiving emergency calls from people who want Katrin to be sent in. Her understanding manner simply hits home.

In the next "assignment", things get sentimental: the colleagues from Station 2 say goodbye to their platoon leader Dominic, who is changing stations within the Bochum Fire Department. For the farewell there are burgers – that makes Sven particularly happy. As a small farewell gift, Dominic receives a special mug: it shows a best-of of his facial expressions from the 3rd shift. Season of "Fire and Flame. Maybe this can be sold officially? The fans of the series would certainly be pleased! With the locking speech Dominic come finally the tears: "Was ne’ cool time with you!" he thanks.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

The farewell gift for Dominic causes some laughter at the police station. Photo: WDR

In the last part of the episode, the Bochum firefighters can enjoy some cake. A car fire – the first fire call for the new colleague Max. Every rookie has to hand out a cake after his first fire mission – this is a tradition at the Bochum fire department. "Yes, there is a cake!"says Max immediately after the successful end of the mission. Peter wants to know exactly: "Can you bake?? Or does the mother do it?" he asks laughing. That’s how he always did it. Max emphasizes, however, that he bakes the cake alone – without Mutti.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

Episode review: Episode 4 (Season 4)

"I have a problem: I locked my baby in the car."The first mission of the episode immediately raises the pulse of all mothers and fathers. In an operation with children are also directly "father feelings with it", affirms Sven. When they arrive, the emergency teams meet the distraught mother and father of the six-month-old baby. "The little baby did not cry. You can approach the whole thing in a more relaxed way," explains Jose. Since the keys are in the locked vehicle, the window must be removed. For this purpose, Jose uses a feather pellet so that the baby is not hit by shards or splinters. Afterwards the father can take the unharmed child out of the car and hand it over to the sobbing mother.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

In the next sequence, Katrin is on her way with a colleague to a Parkinson’s patient who is said to have fallen several times. The special: The man is staying with his brother – who is ill with Corona. Special security measures are therefore necessary. "As little as possible and as much as necessary," Katrin explains in terms of emergency personnel and equipment. The man shows the typical picture of a Parkinson’s disease – stiff body movements, trembling and small clumsy steps. Upon further examination, Katrin notices that the elderly gentleman has no Parkinson’s medication at all. "That surprised me a bit," she admits. In the end, the man is not brought to the hospital because there is no emergency situation. Instead, he is to contact his neurologist. The therapy he needs would have to be rather long-term. In addition, it is too risky to take the man to an acute care hospital without direct symptoms, as he is the first contact person of a corona patient.

In the next operation, gas is to escape in a residential building. "There are already many things to consider on the approach," explains Johannes. For example, you have to approach the site with the wind blowing in the right direction. The talk was of an "acrid stench" in the hallway, which was described as particularly strong in one of the apartments by a witness. After firefighters evacuate the house, they check all the apartments. The measurements do not give a result. Even the employees of the public utility company cannot detect any special readings.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

The next sequence revolves around only one topic: Corona. Viewers get a glimpse into the daily corona routine of the Bochum fire department. "Corona is, of course, maximum presence on the watch," emphasizes Johannes. After 8 months, there is the first positive corona smear within the guard, which is why the mask requirement is extended. "Actually, we wear those things all the time now," says one firefighter as he announces the new procedural instructions. "A lot of things have changed," says Marcel. Many meetings would now only take place purely virtually and online, says also Simon, who is in charge of the Bochum station. "That sense of community that existed before Corona, we don’t have at the moment," Marcel explains. Everyone has become more reserved and calmer. Fabian is nevertheless humbled and pleased that he has no existential fears, like many others in crisis: "I don’t need to worry about whether I’ll be allowed to go to work tomorrow. The fire department is certainly not closed."

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

Online meetings are now part of everyday life at the Bochum fire department.

In the last mission of the episode, the firefighters are called to an apartment fire in which a human life is also said to be in danger. "That’s such a cue: that’s what you become a firefighter for," Peter says. A witness explains that an ethanol fireplace started the fire. Also, there would be a man sitting in the hallway outside the burning apartment who can’t walk. "Our most important goal is to save people. Material assets can be replaced. Human life never," Peter sums it up. They can save the man, who is actually sitting directly in front of the apartment. Peter emphasizes how lucky he was and even talks about a "6 in the lottery" that he was saved. In the meantime, the apartment is on fire to its full extent. Even when the danger is eliminated, the post-fire work continues. "That fired out there. I haven’t seen that in a long time," says Peter. "And that’s before breakfast, you know," confirms his colleague. To ethanol fire-places Peter has a clear opinion: "Such things should not have one!"

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

Episode review: Episode 3 (Season 4)

The episode begins at half past two in the morning. "When the gong goes, it’s just that you’re pulled out of a deep sleep," Bjorn explains. There is a fire in an annex of a warehouse. On arrival, no flames are visible at first glance. "I thought, we’ll set the distributor here, a squad will go in, put out the fire, and then it’s done," Bjorn says. Also when colleague Ingo sees the fire he says: "I thought that was more". So it’s not an unusual operation – until the scene changes abruptly.

Suddenly meter-high flames shoot into the sky. "If something blows up there now, we’ll just have a problem," Bjorn yells as he calls his people back. Due to an ignition a massive fire fighting has to be carried out immediately. "From small to big in a second," Bjorn explains. "Maybe we’ll get lucky and find our way to bed after all," says one of the colleagues jokingly when the fire is under control "Every fire is out at some point!", Bjorn brings it to the point.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

In the next sequence, the focus is on a filled water glass and a folding table. Jasmin has organized a team building exercise for the men. "The intention was to have some fun and use equipment that you don’t use that often," she explains. Thereby a full water glass stands on a folded table. The task is to set this up without spilling a drop of water. In addition, only equipment may be used for this and not the own muscle power. Lifting bags, lower block material, hydraulic levers and winches – "We’ve already plundered our HLF," says Jorg. "A fire truck is a big play box for men," explains Richard. After 39 minutes, the men manage to get the table up, even if a little water spills over. According to the men, this happened due to a "gust of wind". This took Jasmin with a wink to the knowledge.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

In the following mission, the fun is over – it’s a matter of life and death. Traffic accident with unconscious person reads the information. On arrival, the injured person is already being resuscitated by an eyewitness. Some "onlookers" have already gathered. "There is a person fighting for his life and others come there and take out their cell phones and film it," Richard is annoyed. Even direct residents at the windows are uninhibitedly filming the events. Only a screen can shield the severely injured person. Unfortunately, the woman cannot be revived. She dies still at the scene.

The next mission begins unusually: A stretcher is subsequently needed for a bicycle accident. The HLF takes them to rural areas – the roads are narrow. With a 18 Tonner the whole is not completely harmless, explains Harry. They come to a halt in front of a steep embankment – 60 to 70 meters it goes up into the air. A bicyclist crashed at the top and the rescue workers already present can’t carry the injured man alone through the steep wooded area. "It was slippery, slippery and rooted", says Harry.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

With the help of the other cyclists it goes slowly by the steep area. The injured person is lashed to a spineboard. The operation requires full concentration. The injured man’s fellow cyclists impress Harry. "They were not so shocked. They have cooperated super." Especially the last part is difficult. "Can’t be done, won’t be done here!" stresses Harry however. Thanks to the concentrated cooperation, the man is brought safely to the ambulance. "Without teamwork in the fire department, a fire department would not function!" says Harry in conclusion.

The casualty is carefully carried down the steep embankment. Photo: WDR

Episode review: Episode 2 (Season 4)

The consequence begins with a TH employment – heavy passenger car accident with trapped person. "The adrenaline level sometimes goes high," says Holger. The curious thing: On the way to the scene of the accident, the firefighters pass two other accidents, so that at first it is unclear where exactly the serious accident took place. "Everything is going haywire," says the train driver. "I have never experienced anything like it!". When the forces finally reach the scene of the reported accident, they are confronted with a horrific picture. A car has crashed head-on into a concrete pillar.

The driver is massively trapped, the fire department initiates an immediate rescue. Even if there’s no longer a pulse – "We do it as if he’s still alive," explains Fabian. The Bochum firefighters decide to push the front end of the car away by means of a hydraulic cylinder. Finally they can pull the man out. His injuries are so severe that he is pronounced dead in the ambulance.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

During the operation, some trainees are also on site. The platoon leader inquires whether they are well after this experience. "Time has already changed there. You talk about it a lot," says Holger. Fabian is also happy about the development. "This is part of a modern understanding of firefighting. After all, we are human beings and not machines."

The next deployment scenario is "loud, agitated and very excited," Katrin explains in advance. The RTW is called to an elderly lady complaining of shortness of breath. "Must I die?" she asks dissolved. "No, not today," says Katrin and holds her hand. The fact that the senior citizen is now to be taken to hospital triggers completely different fears for her. "And then I get Corona later," she expresses concern. "We experience this again and again – that patients don’t want to go to the hospital because they are afraid of catching the Corona virus," Katrin explains. With a lot of empathy, the lady is finally taken to the hospital.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

The little lizard causes delight… Photo: WDR

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

…and that with all firefighters of Bochum! Photo: WDR

In the next sequence, the men from the Bochum Fire Department are at the Bochum Zoo and Fossilium. Jorg explains that in dealing with snakes, spiders and Co. are not yet trained and would be uncertain. In the theory lesson therefore living specimens may not be missing. A dwarf bearded dragon – a small lizard – causes delight among the men. "You could see the eyes shining there," reports Johannes. With the snake the state of mind already looks different. "She’s looking for a larynx!"Jorg says with a laugh, holding the viper in his arms. Finally, it’s off to the spider terrarium – Johannes in particular is anything but enthusiastic: "Dude, I hate spiders, dude!"Also some other colleagues make themselves out of the dust. But despite the previous aversion, the spider is also allowed to crawl over Johannes’ hand. And so the day was worthwhile, because fears of contact were overcome and background knowledge was gathered.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

On the last mission, the ToJ training unit moves out. The prospective firefighters are on the road in their own vehicle (with instructor) and complete their practical part of the job. "A real operation is difficult to simulate," says Sebastian, "In terms of feeling, it’s a different story when it’s actually tiling."They are called to a car fire in full expansion. For the trainees, this is an ideal opportunity to practice. "Dat is’n fire and dat get we from!" Florian brings it dryly on the point.

Episode Review: Episode 1 (Season 4)

"That was an operation that happens maybe every ten years," says platoon leader Fabian in the very first minute of the new squadron. We can’t yet guess what insights we viewers will get in this episode The Bochum Fire Department is called to an industrial area – fire at a scrap yard. Nothing out of the ordinary at first. The pictures that await us in a moment prove us wrong.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

A dark cloud of smoke extends into the sky, which can be seen even at the other end of the city. Photo: WDR Television

About 50 cars on fire in a heap. "I definitely didn’t realize it was such a big deal," says second platoon leader Marcel. Gas cylinders explode, the fire threatens to spread to the warehouse and water runs out. A column of black smoke stretches into the sky. The new HLF is also in danger due to the enormous heat exposure.

The biggest problem, however, lies elsewhere: less than 10 meters away from the blaze is a chemical factory that stores paint and varnish. And the fire spreads rapidly. The fact that the emergency services have to manage the water in the meantime makes the situation even worse. Marcel slowly gets doubts and thinks about a retreat. Simon, head of the Bochum fire department, is also worried about his people. "Do we hold the fort or do we pull out?? And in the worst case scenario, we have a mega explosion here."

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

The fire spreads rapidly – ever further towards the chemical plant. Photo: Bochum Fire Department

An employee of the chemical plant, whose name is Aladin, (Marcel: "I’ll never forget that name") comes with the saving news: there are 2 million liters of water in the silos on the site. However, there is no relief – the pumps do not work, there is no pressure on the hoses. Sven, who is standing on the turntable ladder, feels this particularly keenly. "Turn me away a little, Totto. I’m starting to get a hot ass!" he orders his colleague. From above, he becomes particularly aware of the extent. "There was a huge wall of fire coming at us." And thus also on the chemical plant.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

Finally the pumps can be started up. This prevents the fire from spreading further and spreading to the chemical plant. "There would have been nothing left within 500 meters," Marcel is sure, if the explosion had occurred. Thanks to the good cooperation between the volunteer and professional fire departments, the catastrophe could be prevented. "The best way is together," says Simon, "then we are unbeatable in the Ruhr area!"

What took 45 spectacular minutes for us, took 21 hours for the firefighters. Marcel and Fabian had only been platoon leaders for a short time at the time. For Sven it was only the second shift. "I’m no longer a white cloud," he says in conclusion.

With these impressive pictures, the 4. Relay could not have started more impressively. We are curious whether this episode can still be topped..

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

Episode review: Episodes 8 and 9 (Season 3)

I especially liked the dramaturgy this time, i.e. the structure of the episodes. The technical assistance mission at the beginning of Episode 8 seems more dramatic than many a Hollywood blockbuster. Werner is already over 80 years old. He has fallen into a workshop pit in his garage. In the process, he suffered a serious knee injury. Arriving at the scene, the emergency services not only have to rescue the patient from the narrow pit, but also look after an agitated family member: "Can he still hear me?? – Is this a good hospital?"

In the course of the operation, the firefighters decide to change the rescue tactics: they do not use the spineboard as the main means of rescue, as initially considered, but only as a slide. The patient is rescued gently with a rescue corset and rescue boa. "Many ways always lead to success. And all the vehicles together, combined, so to speak, then provided the solution," Tim explains the procedure in the interview.

The second mission in episode 8 is once again an animal rescue: passers-by had made an emergency call because they had seen an injured goose at Lake ummingen. This ‘goose chase’ strained the laugh muscles of everyone involved: the firefighters, the passersby and the spectators. Jeff makes one funny remark after another: "Visually, the goose had duck feet. – We’re good at running, but the (goose) had some good hooks, too. – Patient, refuses ride, ne?"

In addition to two missions for the rescue service, we also get to see the Fire Brigade Olympics of the colleagues from Bochum in the eighth episode. In this annual competition, the firefighters have to solve a series of tricky tasks and prove themselves as a team. Three groups compete against each other (LF, HLF and TOJ). The losing team has to take over the kitchen cleaning service.

Some of you may already be familiar with the tasks shown here from your youth firefighting or emergency department volunteer fire departments? Tasks include: retrieving a powder extinguisher from a trash can without entering the staked circle, a turntable ladder course, and a special egg run with spreader. By the way: Dear production team, please show us more scenes with Jorg – he comes across as ultra funny and likeable!

The eighth episode ends as dramatically as it began: with a supposedly harmless hedge fire that turns out to be bigger than expected with two cars on fire. Responding firefighters must first prevent the fire from spreading to an adjoining residence by setting up a barricade. To make matters worse, the one vehicle on fire is a hybrid-powered passenger car. This firefighting is "new territory for the fire department," as Mattes explains. The firefighters from Bochum lower the hybrid vehicle into a container filled with water, which they received from their colleagues in Dortmund.

Episode 9 manages to maintain the high entertainment value of the eighth episode. Things get particularly emotional and heartfelt when the firefighters celebrate Norbert’s retirement with a barbecue. "The fire department is like a second family here," says Jorg. This is how it should be.

Sad and thoughtful is the fate of the patient with the brain hemorrhage, who died despite the quick help of the rescue service 10 days after surgery.

The highlight of the episode for me was the last operation: At a municipal composting plant, a 6.000 cubic meter pile of green waste caught fire. About a third of it is in flames. The firefighters have big problems with the water supply, because the hydrants in the vicinity of the scene have been shut down due to construction work. We already know this from the fourth episode and the big fire in the sports hall.

Fire& Flame: Life threatened by fire in restroom stall

Grand finale of the 3. Season of Fire& Flame: Large fire of a pile of cuttings. Photo: Bochum Fire Department

Accordingly, the executives initially focus on establishing the water supply: "I don’t care where water comes from – the main thing is that it arrives."Ulrike, the 25-year-old platoon leader, will also be taking part again. Her colleagues appreciate the fact that, despite her young age, she always keeps her cool in the field. Later in the interview, she tells us that she joined the youth fire department at the age of 10, switched to the fire department at 16, and started her training with the Bochum fire department five years ago. "The first thing I really pulled off and still pull off to this day is firefighting."

The episode finally ends with the professional fire department handing over the operation to the volunteer fire department in order to be quickly ready for action again. It is a pity that the work of the volunteer comrades is not discussed further.

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