All fired up for dream job
Bitten by the firefighting bug – like his father and three brothers – Siegfried joined the voluntary fire service at his home in Kropp, eighty kilometers from Kiel, in 2001.
From chef to fire officer
The 34-year-old originally trained to be a chef and for a long time worked for his parents’ business. Two years ago, cooped up in a twenty square-meter kitchen with little interest in cooking, Siegfried thought to himself: “There must be more to life than this,” and set out to find a new career path. With his love of the voluntary fire service, he soon hit on the idea of turning his hobby into a career. On October 1, 2018 he joined the thyssenkrupp shipyard in Kiel, where he is completing two and a half years’ training to become a fire officer.
Gym dodging is over
But for him that also means working out to get himself really fit. That’s essential, because if Siegfried is called out to an incident on the huge thyssenkrupp site, he’ll need to be in good shape, as despite being kitted out in full firefighting gear, which can weigh over forty kilos, he and his colleagues have to be on the scene and ready for action within three minutes. Previously a regular gym dodger, he now makes exercise part of his lifestyle. To the benefit of his dogs, two Australian Shepherds, who he struggled to keep up with in the past.
Enough time for hobby and family
Siegfried has no regrets about changing careers. “I’m really proud to be able to work here. I enjoy my work, my colleagues are nice, and financially everything’s fine too, even though I’m still training and have a family,” says Siggi. As the father of an eight-year-old son, he also finds the 24-hour shift pattern, the “Bremer Plan”, an advantage. Under the plan, firefighters work seven days in three weeks. “That always leaves me with enough time for my family and my hobby – the voluntary fire service in Kropp,” says Siegfried. His work both with the voluntary fire service and at the professional station with fire pole and recreation room at thyssenkrupp is very varied.
More than fire extingushing
His main duties include measures to prevent fire and smoke from breaking out and spreading, extinguishing fires, and the regular maintenance of life jackets, breathing apparatus, and fire extinguishers. Much of this is carried out in close cooperation with the Kiel authorities, who define the requirements. But as if that weren’t enough, as part of his training Siggi is also learning to be a paramedic. He hopes to be able to complete his training in 2021 and join the permanent workforce. “For a born fireman like me, working here is a dream come true”.