Duisburg Fire Department has completely rebuilt its 45 year old Gottwald AMK 35-21 boat mounted superstructure.
The brand new crane superstructure from a two axle Gottwald All Terrain was originally mounted in 1973. While it was still in working order, the technology had become so out of date, that parts were becoming hard to source, and it no longer met the latest needs. So rather than buy a new crane the department decided to completely rebuild it, only reusing certain key fabrications, such as the superstructure frame and boom etc…Everything else has been brought bang up to date to comply with the latest standards including radio remote controls. The cost? €165,000 plus a lot of extra hours.
The 31 metre fire fighting boat is primarily used to transfer submersible pumps weighing up to 300kg, onto boats that have run into problems, but has also been used to lift cars from the water and rescuing people from stricken boats. The rebuilt crane is equipped with specialist equipment for this , including an counter balanced stretcher. Maximum capacity is six tonnes.
Kai Diekmann of the fire department's technical department said: "It was almost impossible to get spare parts for the old technology.” Co-worker Norbert Dohm who was responsible for upgrading the crane added: "Except for the chassis, there is nothing left of the old crane. We have completely revised and replaced the technology. In this way, we are up to the current demands on technology and safety."
The boat is based at the fire brigade jetty on Vinckeweg in Ruhrort, and has four full time fire officers available on call 24 hours a day and boasts three permanently installed water cannons with a throwing range of up to 100 metres and 26 foam launchers, capable of foaming an area of a square kilometre within an hour.