USAG Bavaria fire department receives IMCOM-Europe awards | Item
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – Installation Management Command-Europe has presented two awards to the U.S. Army Garrison Fire Department in Bavaria for fiscal year 2021. For the seventh year in a row, the service as a whole has been recognized as the best mid-sized fire department in IMCOM-Europe region. Individually, a Lifetime Achievement Award went to Johann Koller, Fire Inspector in the USAG Bavaria Hohenfels Fire Department.
So far, Koller has spent a total of 45 years preventing fires and saving lives. Since joining the Hohenfels Fire Department in 1984, Koller has accumulated 37 years of experience with the United States Army. Throughout his career, he has assumed the functions and responsibilities of firefighter, team leader and fire prevention inspector.
According to Koller, the Lifetime Achievement Award came as a “total surprise”.
“My intention is always to help people,” he said. “I am absolutely proud to receive this award. It is a pleasure for me to work with my comrades. As an employer, the US military always takes care of me.
The announcement was less shocking – though still equally exciting – to his team members, as they have absolute confidence in Koller’s ability and work ethic.
“He’s a great team player, a good leader and an effective tutor for new firefighters,” said Josef Rodler, USAG Bavaria Garrison fire chief. “He is always ready to learn and go further than necessary to motivate his colleges.”
While Koller was honored to accept his individual award, he also expressed his joy that the entire USAG Bavaria fire department received additional recognition from IMCOM-E.
“It makes me feel good to see that we – the firefighters – have been successful,” Koller said.
This annual competition is based on the performance of medium-sized fire departments in 2021. Whether it is responding to emergencies, organizing training, educating the public, proposing innovative initiatives, winning awards and more, the USAG Bavaria Fire Department has had an eventful year.
The department has fire stations in three facilities, spread over 47 million square feet across Bavaria. According to the memorandum of appointment, the department responded to 2,354 emergencies without major loss and responded to 553 emergency and medical emergency calls during COVID-19 without infecting first responders or spreading the virus – all while protecting and protecting a population of 41,000 soldiers, family members and host nation employees.
To name just a few other highlights, the ministry supported two large-scale airborne exercises in the military training area; improving information exchange with dispatch centers in host countries to reduce duplication of response times and increase relationships and cooperation between emergency response organizations; trained 180 soldiers to become HAZMAT certified drivers; and renewed mutual aid agreements with surrounding communities to secure benefits in fire prevention and protection of life and property.
“We have the best mix of motivated, professionally trained and experienced teams,” said Rodler. “We also have a great camaraderie among all members of the fire department and are working for one goal – to help people when they need help or support, and to protect the community. This recognition shows the team that they are being rewarded for the hard, and sometimes very dangerous, work they do for the community on a daily basis.
The USAG Bavarian Fire Department will now compete at the U.S. Army Facilities Management Command level for the Best Fire Department of the Year, Medium Category.