|Interior design:||The Firefighters|
We have arrived at a somewhat sensitive topic in photographing a fire department. Much talk already can be heard about firefighters, what with the early retirements topic ongoing, but we’d rather show you what their everyday routine looks like, and just where it is they work.
Having said this, we are still in a difficult position. The Szentendre fire department is not your run-of-the-mill barracks. They have everything: swimming pool, soccer field, gazebos, Japanese garden, huge designer kitchen, sauna, billiards, foosball, etc.
The firefighters are on 24 hour duty, so it’s important for them to be in a comfortable environment. Since they don’t receive funding for this from the state or local municipality, they are forced to look for sponsors themselves, as well as reach into their own pockets to create the infrastructure they want.
It seems they are in luck, as company directors in Szentendre exhibit an attitude that many would envy even in Western Europe. Quite a few companies pitched in, and in the end the department received a swimming pool system, paint, construction materials, etc. Thus the materials were at hand, but to achieve what can be seen on the pictures, all the work was carried out by the firefighters themselves.
We arrived at 4 pm, and met with divisional head of firefighting and MŰSZAKIMENTÉS Péter Olah, firefighter captain. As a warmup, he showed us where they present exploded gas canisters as a warning to the dangers of improper storage conditions, as well as the administrative areas. The department itself has multiple functions; there is a fire prevention contingent, as well as a firefighting contingent. As you may guess, there is quite a bit of paperwork to be done here as well.
Looking at the pictures, one may begin to feel as envious as we did when visiting, but that only lasted until the alarms went off. Regardless of where they are at the time, each firefighter on duty must be ready in full gear and sitting on the fire truck within 2 minutes of the alarm going off. It doesn’t matter if they’re playing sports or not, when they hear the alarm they begin running to the changing area instead of the opponent’s goal.
During our 1,5 hour visit we witness what happens when an alarm goes off, but thankfully it’s just a false alarm. They only find this out on the way, but at least they can turn back around. Even though they have a chance to cool off in the pool to escape from the heat, even during idle times they keep busy. Every day, in addition to theoretical and practical exercises as well as daily maintenance of the technical equipment, they paint the garage, repair things, etc. Also, even though this year was not nearly as bad as the previous ones, they have plenty of work to do during the flood season.
The Szentendre fire department is probably a very unique one, and although it’s not your classic office, we thought it went well with the theme of the blog, as here is a team of people who made the most out of what they had in their work environment.