ULM, JANUARY 31 – The Italian Fire Departments that provided aid during the series of earthquakes in Central Italy in the summer of 2016, won the coveted Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award together with the title “International Firefighting Team of the Year 2016.”
The award was conferred by Magirus, the global firefighting brand of CNH Industrial (NYSE: CNHI /MI: CNHI), in front of an audience of more than 700 fire fighters and guests from all over the world at the Congress Centrum Ulm, Germany. The winners were determined by a jury as well as online voters who awarded prizes to particularly demanding firefighting operations.
The fire department of the São Paulo metropolis in Brazil was among the top three teams, as was the Fire Department from Altenmarkt, Austria (near St. Gallen) with only 840 inhabitants. The award for “National Firefighting Team of the Year” went to the Volunteer Fire Department from Lehrte, Lower Saxony, Germany for a demanding rescue operation on the A2 motorway. The Volunteer Fire Department Erkrath in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany earned the Special Prize for Social Commitment.
“Fire departments make an enormous contribution to our society,” said Marc Diening, CEO of Magirus, in his welcome address. “The winners of the Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award 2016 represent the many hundreds of thousands of personnel worldwide who risk their lives daily.” Dany Cotton, guest of honor, also paid tribute to her colleagues. “The submissions show the great physical and mental demands of fire department tasks. I am pleased that the Conrad Dietrich Magirus Award honors this commitment.” On January 1, 2017, Ms. Cotton was appointed Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade – with 103 fire stations and over 6,000 employees, it is one of the largest fire departments in the world. She is the first woman to head this organization.
The missions of the top three finalists left lasting impressions. The Italian winners provided a prime example of exceptional teamwork. On August 24, 2016, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake destroyed numerous villages in central Italy. People had to be rescued from the rubble and approximately 40,000 were brought to safety. Teams from over 12 regions as well as the main cities of Rome, Arezzo, Bologna, Venice and Pescara came to provide relief to the disaster area. The rescue teams carried out 26,251 relief operations by September 22, 2016.
The Volunteer Fire Department Altenmarkt from Austria was confronted by a large fire in a magnesium foundry with several explosions. The Fire Department of São Paulo, Brazil also had a difficult fire to fight. An industrial enterprise with several containers of highly flammable sodium dichloroisocyanurate – a substance used in detergents and disinfectants – had gone up in flames, releasing large quantities of toxic fumes. For over two days, the Fire Department worked side by side with the plant fire department to quell the dangerous fire. (@OnuItalia)