The Federal Agency for Technical Relief (Technisches Hilfswerk, or THW) is to get new emergency service vehicles from Mercedes-Benz as part of an extensive procurement programme. Several new vehicles were handed over to the THW in a symbolic gesture at Interschutz 2010, the leading international exhibition for fire prevention and disaster relief.

Sprinters deployed as crew trucks
For the first time the THW has purchased a new model of the closed crew truck in van size. The vehicle, known as the MLW V in the trade, is based on a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 316 CDI panel van which is just under seven metres in length. The first vehicle was officially presented by Michael Dietz, Director of Public Authority, Direct Account and Special-Purpose Vehicles for Mercedes-Benz Sales Germany to the President of the THW, Albrecht Broemme, on the occasion of the Interschutz exhibition in Leipzig.. Dietz reminded his listeners of procurements made in previous years and then brought them round to the current models, which would represent a significant modernisation of the THW fleet.

With the MLW V, the THW is taking a new vehicle model into service, which is to be deployed as a universal base model in various technical units. The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 316 CDI, with a GVW of 3500 kilograms, is powered by a high-torque common-rail diesel engine (Euro 5) with 120 kW/163 hp. Mosolf, an established partner on van collaborations based in Kippenheim in Baden, is building the emergency service vehicle bodies for the THW. The vehicle has five seats for THW crew members and a load compartment which is accessible through the rear doors.

It has been equipped with a Sortimo shelving system and allows the safe storage of each technical unit’s specific loads. The purchasers working for the THW set great store on high-quality fittings for securing loads. Folding shelves with tie-down hooks and floor-mounted securing rails enable loads to be secured perfectly. The rear doors, which open out to 270°, make loading with a fork-lift truck possible; there is space for up to three Europallets in the load compartment. Alternatively, using two drive-on ramps which are stored in a convenient space-saving manner on the inside of one of the rear doors, rollboys or a mobile workbench can be loaded, too. It is intended to put the MLW V into service for the infrastructure, logistics, blasting and drinking-water technical units of the THW. The first MLW V vehicle is being taken into service by the Bautzen (Saxony) section of the THW and will be used there by the blasting technical unit.

Axors as equipment vehicles
In the THW organisation, the GKW 1 equipment vehicles are viewed quite simply as the work horses. They are deployed in the technical platoons of all the 688 THW sections throughout Germany. The THW ordered the latest‑generation GKW 1 based, for the first time, on the Mercedes-Benz Axor. The first vehicles were recently handed over to the THW. The vehicle will in future give valuable service to the Marktredwitz (Bavaria) section of the THW.

The new equipment vehicles based on the Mercedes-Benz Axor 1829 A (210 kW/286 hp) have all-wheel drive, single tyres and Allison automatic transmission. The crew cabin and special-purpose body are manufactured by Rosenbauer Feuerwehrtechnik, based in Luckenwalde in Brandenburg. The first eleven vehicles were handed over there at the end of March. A further 43 GKW 1s are to be delivered this summer; there is an option to deliver a further 139 vehicles. The GKW 1 special-purpose body, which is based on an aluminium frame, can carry an extensive technical load as required for rescue operations, lifting and moving rubble and building components, and erecting support and auxiliary structures. In addition, a cable winch manufactured by HPC has been fitted, with forward tractive force of 50 kN and backward tractive force of 100 kN.

Source: Daimler AG