A red alert.

Zetros airport firefighting vehicle with digital fire extinguishing technology and alarm start function.

In an emergency, every second counts. Hof-Plauen Airport in Upper Franconia is host to daily business and company flights bound for destinations all over Europe, and also to private charter flights. The local aviation club uses the airport runway too. This regional airport with irregular flights still has to be completely safe at all times, of course. A Mercedes-Benz Zetros on the premises takes care of that – with over 100 operations annually.

The equipment highlight of the cab-behind-engine truck is the fully digital firefighting technology with front and roof monitor and an alarm start button. This function means that simply by pressing the button on the side of the vehicle, the vehicle can be ready for operation in a moment: the engine starts automatically and reaches operating temperature, and all on-board systems are activated and ready. In an emergency, that saves valuable time!

Low overall height and high utility.

When searching for a successor to the old Mercedes-Benz 1113 short-bonnet truck to guarantee the safety of aircraft taking off and landing, the airport operator opted for a three-axle Zetros 2733A with a customer-made body by Rosenbauer. The Special Truck has one front and one roof water cannon, and next to the tank with extinguishing agent there is enough space for extra machinery.

The Zetros continues the successful tradition of the cab-behind-engine vehicle with the three-pointed star, bringing it up to date – with all the advantages that the low overall height of the vehicle provides: easier boarding and alighting, easier loading and unloading, and it fits into sheds with a lower roof. That is a decisive plus point for many fire brigades.

Scarlet Zetros supports Costa Rica's bomberos on emergency calls.

Also, maintenance is simpler and less expensive than for other expensive special operating vehicles, thanks to the single tyres and the Zetros components which are designed for durability and maximum robustness: its reinforced frame and series-production engine, transfer case, axles and simple controls have proved their worth thousands of times.

Yet another plus for the crew is the high comfort when driving. This is because, in addition to the Allison automatic transmission as standard, the Zetros has the advantage that due to its design with the driver's seat positioned behind the axle, it is comfortable to drive even on rough terrain. And in the case of major fires in the region, the Zetros can support local fire brigades, including in inaccessible terrain.

Operations carried out by the Zetros airport fire engine:

  • "Hot refuelling" – providing fire protection for helicopter refuelling with the engine running, e.g. when the electricity supply needs to be maintained for care of patients in a rescue helicopter
  • Providing fire protection when refuelling without the engine running, but with a patient on board
  • Readiness in case of possible undercarriage problems e.g. if the pilot cannot confirm whether the undercarriage is extended or properly engaged
  • Readiness in case of aircraft coming in to land with technical problems
  • Extinguishing engine fires
  • Rescuing when there is damage to the aircraft
  • Removing oil spills etc.

Finding the best solution together.

Good advice is crucial for special vehicles. In order that a tailor-made solution could be found for the customer, in Hof all the staff involved have benefited from the good, long-term cooperation between the local Mercedes-Benz Nuremberg dealership, the bodybuilder and Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks. This means that Hof-Plauen is ideally set up for future emergency operations.

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