1939 – 2019: 80 years of the Getzner company fire department

1939 – 2019: 80 years of the Getzner company fire department

At the 47th Annual General Meeting of Vorarlberg's oldest and largest existing company fire department last Friday, the focus was on the 80th anniversary.

On Friday, April 26, the company fire department Getzner solemnly invited to the 47th annual general meeting on the premises of the textile specialist in Bludenz. Around 100 functionaries and commanders of the Vorarlberg fire departments, representatives of relief and rescue organizations, representatives of politics, the board of directors, as well as the managements of Getzner Textil AG, Getzner Werkstoffe GmbH and the holding company Getzner, Mutter & Cie. met at the headquarters of the family-owned company to jointly toast the 80th anniversary of the company fire department. "As an important pillar of our company, fire protection has an extremely high priority. My thanks go to the employees, who are always on site in record time in the event of a fire, for their commitment. Also with regard to the structural expansion of the already existing raw materials high-bay warehouse, we rely on the essential protection provided by our company fire department as well as the 1,300 automatic fire detectors that are in use throughout the company," says Roland Comploj, CEO of Getzner Textil AG.

With heart and soul for fire protection and a safe workplace

In his speech, Chief Fire Officer Jürgen Kurz, commander of the Getzner company fire department, emphasized the impressive development of the Getzner Group in recent years and, at the same time, the growth of the company's own fire department. Currently, 80 employees from the companies Getzner Textil and Getzner Werkstoffe are working with heart and soul for the company as well as for fire protection - and the trend is rising. "With such a large team, we can ensure that the growing demands of such a modern company can be reliably met. But all employees can also look forward to a safe workplace that is optimally prepared in terms of fire protection," explained the commander before the swearing-in ceremony for the new members - who also include four newly qualified female firefighters - and continued: "We are very pleased, and I can speak on behalf of all our comrades, that our company fire department can be such an important part of the Getzner Group!

A piece of history

Since the Getzner companies in the early 20th century were always dependent on the fastest possible arrival of the surrounding local fire departments in the event of major fire incidents, the desire to establish their own company fire department already arose at that time, Alexander Burtscher, deputy commander and archivist, summarized after intensive research. With the outbreak of World War II, the German Empire ordered the company in the "Bleiche" to have a so-called "plant air protection", which at that time consisted of 130 men and women. The fact that this also included a firefighting group finally led to the laying of the foundation stone for the Getzner plant fire department at the beginning of 1939, which was able to stand up to more than 100 small and larger fires in an exemplary manner in the first 15 years after its founding. By 1950, every Getzner plant had its own fire station with the necessary firefighting and emergency equipment, and at least two fire department groups were available to the plants. The overall organization was always based on the company fire department at the "Bleiche" site (note: headquarters of Getzner Textil AG), where the command center with the company fire department commander is still located today. With the incorporation of the company fire departments into the Vorarlberg State Fire Brigade Association, the company fire department took over all the duties of the fire department police regulations that had been in place since 1947 - even the uniform was adapted at that time.

Always on the pulse of time

Since then, the equipment as well as the vehicles and devices have been continuously improved and adapted to the respective state of the art. It is no coincidence that in the second half of the 20th century, the Getzner company fire department was one of the first fire departments in the Oberland to be equipped with state-of-the-art breathing apparatus. "Today, we are in the special position of being able to access the best gas and radiation detection equipment available on the market at any time. For this reason, the company fire department, together with the local fire department Bludenz in the course of time became the hazardous material and radiation protection base for the Vorarlberg Oberland and also moved out quite a few times for the benefit of the civilian population," informed the chief fire officer. Beyond that regular exercises, training courses as well as the participation in fire-brigade achievement competitions stand to today on the agenda of the proven Florianijünger.

Image source: GTAG, Karl Huber