You can tell by the siren: Christian is coming

Whenever help is needed, he’s on his way: Christian Schindlbeck. And it doesn’t matter in this context whether what’s involved is urgent issues at Krones’ clients or putting out fires in his home community. Because Christian is a voluntary fireman in Barbing. He’s been working for Krones since 1995, as part of our Lifecycle Service team, where as the central contact person he looks after pretty well everything to do with the machines of Krones’ subsidiary Kosme. In addition, he supports his colleagues and the subsidiaries when it comes to questions and challenges relating to Kosme. But if he is nowhere to be found in his office or with a client, Christian will probably be out on a deployment with his colleagues from the fire brigade.

In his voluntary post, he has a varied remit. Firstly, he’s the organization’s secretary; secondly he’s active as a Group Leader, a respirator wearer, a machinist and an instructor for the fall protection group. He’s also a driver, responsible for immediate securing the deployment site and for the equipment being used, like the fire-extinguisher centrifugal pump and the respirator monitors. What’s more, he instructs his colleagues in the correct procedures required in precarious situations involving a risk of falling. He also looks after the electrics and the computers, just like the mobile-phone alerting of his fire brigade colleagues in the municipality. So he bears a pretty sizeable package of different responsibilities. During the course of a year, he and his colleagues are normally called out to between 60 and 80 deployments; last year it was a good 50. But how can this be reconciled with his job? Not really a problem, says Christian. When he’s away on a business trip, of course, he can’t always join in, but when he’s on the spot, he’s invariably part of the team: “The deployments usually take precedence, since someone needing help always has priority. My colleagues and customers know this, and accept it.” And the drills and training courses are anyway held in the evenings or at the weekends, so Christian fits these in after work.

But what actually makes a good fireman? “You have to enjoy working in a team. I think helping people in trouble is somehow in my blood – irrespective of what time of the day or night it is. It’s axiomatic that you sacrifice part of your free time to help your neighbours, irrespective of whether it’s for basic and advanced training or in a real emergency.” A time-consuming and not entirely undangerous activity, but Christian just loves what he’s doing. He himself has been involved in voluntary work ever since he was a kid: “From the altar servers and youth groups, working groups in the community, as well as quite a few clubs – voluntary work and pursuing a shared goal with other people, I really enjoy it all.” I myself think it’s great that there are people like Christian, who willingly and selflessly give up their time to help others – and this even in hazardous situations of the kind firemen frequently encounter. At this point I definitely take off my hat to all the firemen and volunteer helpers among you!