the flames.

Slovakian fire service fights forest fires with Unimog fleet.

Helping is no easy task. And not everyone is up to it. This also applies to vehicles. The Slovak Republic was one of the countries hit by devastating forest fires in 2018. That’s why the fire service has added six extreme off-road Unimog U 5023 firefighting vehicles to its fleet.

Fighting fires at home and beyond.

Preparation is crucial in an emergency. The Slovakian fire service's teams for ground forest fire fighting using vehicles (GFFF-V) have been stationed at strategic sites throughout the country. This is because they have to directly intervene in the event of large-scale forest fires – even in areas that are difficult to reach. And the Slovakian firefighters do not just fight fires in forests and mountains in their own country: the teams also help out in Austria, the Czech Republic and Greece, a country all too familiar with forest fires.

Interior Minister Roman Mikulec knows the value of the GFFF-V team: “Their results and the praise for the quality of their work in Slovakia and in other countries are an incentive for me as a minister to improve their working conditions as well as their material and technical equipment as effectively as possible.”

Burning to put out fires.

Firefighters were able to take delivery of their new emergency vehicles at the Záhorie training grounds. However, some of them already have experience with special Unimog fire-fighting vehicles. A great deal of work was therefore also put into preparation during vehicle procurement. The new Unimog U 5023 vehicles were configured by members of the fire and rescue service as well as members of the GFFF-V unit themselves and adapted to deployment needs.

Exceptional vehicles, exceptionally equipped.

With all-wheel drive, differential lock and tyre pressure control system as well as raised portal axles, the extreme off-road Unimog vehicles already come ex-works with the crucial characteristics that the GFFF-V team relies on for its manoeuvres on rough terrain. “Exceptional vehicles,” says a delighted Pavol Mikulášek, President of the professional fire service.

Exceptional vehicles.

Pavol Mikulášek, President of the professional fire service

Firefighters have combined the Unimog basic vehicle with an extinguishing tank that holds 3,000 l of water and has a pump delivery rate of 2,000 l per minute. Consequently, the forest firefighters easily meet the strict requirements of the European Union.

Just in case.

The EU Civil Protection Programme coordinates the response to natural and man-made disasters at EU level. It aims to promote cooperation between national civil protection authorities, increase public awareness of disasters and strengthen provisions for disasters.

For better cross-border coordination, emergency services have been divided into so-called EU modules that must meet binding standards. In addition to GFFF-V, these modules include units for fighting forest fires by helicopter or firefighting aircraft, as well as teams that specialise in earthquakes, floods or chemical and medical emergencies.

As the GFFF-V unit is part of the EU Civil Protection Programme, the European Union provided four fifths of the funds to purchase the six new fire-fighting vehicles from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Operational Programme Quality of Environment. With a clear mission: saving lives, mitigating damage. The Slovakian emergency services are ready.

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