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1 July 2010: It could be a scene from a science fiction movie: a quite bizarre fire fighting vehicle races past the eyes of astonished spectators at over 60 mph towards a narrow tunnel opening, the venue being the Brandberg Tunnel near Mayrhofen in Austria’s Zillertal.


Tunnel fire - major fire drill exercise

A blaring siren announced its presence far and wide. Brandberg’s fire fighters, already trained in the deployment of their distinctive double-cabin fire fighting truck, were conducting an exercise in the narrow shaft of the Brandberg Tunnel, which had been specially closed for the purpose. However, this drill was also attended by others outside the fire fighting community - camera teams from the German-language TV programmes Galileo (Pro7), Servus TV (Red Bull TV) and the online portal were also there to film every move of the firemen and their vehicle.


Media attention

The fire fighting vehicle with its two driver cabins, one at each end, had already been the focus of attention of the national and international media, although some decided to pretend that the truck, originally developed for the Fire Fighting Bureau Shanghai for use in fighting fires in tunnels, was actually nothing more than a April Fool’s Day hoax. The extensive coverage in the specialist and business press awakened the interest of certain TV teams who contacted EMPL to ask whether the vehicle could be made available for filming.


Captured on film

Without further ado, all film teams were invited to an exclusive press event at Kaltenbach and given a glimpse behind the scenes. As part of the programme, they were given the opportunity to film in our production zone and technical office and invited to attend a simulated fire fighting exercise in the Brandberg Tunnel (which was to include the recovery of casualties and coping with burning roadways and vehicles). Technicians, specialists from our planning office and the relevant sales personnel were on hand to provide detailed interviews.


The film teams were delighted with the various locations and presentations and were more than happy to use the chance to gain insight into how a special vehicle of this kind is developed. Interesting reports have already been posted online at the internet portals and (see features for 5 July).


EMPL: where the extraordinary is nothing out of the ordinary!