Planning is the most important tool so that everything works as reliably as possible on our training facilities, in the classrooms and the entire infrastructure. Eight employees in the maintenance department take care of the many big and small tasks. Operations manager Markus Burger explains what happens backstage in Balsthal and Lungern.
Up to three months ahead of time
A software application supports the preparation of the courses at the International Fire Academy and the Intercantonal Fire Service Training Center. It is used to plan all resources - tools and materials, vehicles, the training infrastructure and the scheduling of personnel. Employees are assigned three months in advance. Planning must be completed two months before an event so that everything is ready at the right time, in the right quality and quantity at the right place at the start of the course.
Thereby planning and personal responsibility goes hand in hand. Ueli Leuenberger, deputy head of operations and a trained mechanic, schedules the personnel. In addition to his knowledge and passion for the task, good nerves are required. Because with all planning, it is important to find solutions for the unforeseen quickly. The employees divide up their day independently. There is always enough to do. Consumables have to be ordered and maintenance appointments have to be kept, repairs have to be made and the outside facilities also have to be taken care of by the maintenance team. And of course, the core task has to be done: Taking care of the facilities and courses.
One contact person for every course
Each course is accompanied by a responsible technician who is the contact person for all problems on-site. He takes care of the material, fills vending machines and breathing air cylinders, gets printers and projectors up and running as well as fire mock-ups in the training facilities. In order to be able to react quickly, all essential spare parts are in stock for the facility. Even in the event of a medical emergency, all technicians are prepared as company emergency responders level 2 IVR and refresh their knowledge annually.
In the evening, all material is retrieved from the outdoor workplaces, cleaned, maintained and re-admitted. Nothing just stays for the next day but is always provided anew.
Passionate craftsmen with diverse expertise
All technicians have completed a trade qualification. Most of the time, their special passions and tasks arise from this. Truck mechanic Philip Bieli is the vehicle manager and prefers to take care of everything that has an engine. Lorenz Kohler procures the firewood as a carpenter. His heart beats particularly fond for the fire extinguishing platform, where he also conducts training lessons.
Urs Meier is responsible for the training tunnel facilities as an electrical mechanic. At the same time, he takes care of the extinguishing water management, including the documentation requirements. The instructional material is the domain of Josef Winistörfer. He knows exactly where to find everything, even without lists. He is also responsible for the respiratory protection training facilities.
Matthias Jakob, car mechatronic, completed his training as a respiratory protection mechanic together with Ueli Leuenberger and is particularly involved in SCBA maintenance. He is also responsible for the facilities in the Theme Park. Marco Frei, the newest addition to the team, takes care of all the mechanical maintenance of the systems as a metalworker. At the same time, he is responsible for the youngest training facility, Firehouse Q. Caretaker Michel Derendinger takes care of all non-fire-fighting equipment and is also the good soul in the house. He helps everywhere and fits perfectly into the team.
Course managers don't need a pedometer
When a course ends in the evening, and everything is put back in its place, reports must be made. Paperwork after a long day. The technician responsible for the course has surely completed more than 10 000 steps - he surely does not need a pedometer to be sure. Our technicians are always on the move to make everything work well for us.