Marcel Czech, volunteer firefighter from Aichtal, Germany,
paid a visit to the Pine Mountain Fire Department in August
For some time, Czech had been planning a trip to the United
States and as a firefighter, wanted to visit different fire
departments to compare apparatus, threat potentials, and
firefighting techniques to those used in Germany.
A very old city dating back to the 15th century and located
near Stuttgart, Aichtal has a popular of just under 10,000
Czech began his fire department visits with the Peachtree
City (Georgia) Fire Department where he spent an entire
shift at one of the city’s stations. During the 24-hour
shift, that particular station was not dispatched to a call.
Czech then visited Pine Mountain, comparing a fire
department serving a much smaller community that his own.
Despite the disparity in resident population, the tourist
venues in Pine Mountain can easily draw over 10,000 people
during special events.
Czech was taken for a drive around the department’s primary
service area, specifically Callaway Gardens, and allowed to
climb the ladder on Quint 1201. One of the most notable
differences was in the size of apparatus. Because Aichtal
has some very narrow streets, the fire apparatus must have a
very narrow and short wheelbase.
The difference in response procedures was noted and Czech
was treated to lunch in one of Pine Mountain’s more popular
restaurants. He was presented with a Pine Mountain Fire
Department shirt, departmental patches, items for his young
relatives, and various magazines on firefighting in the
Czech presented Pine Mountain Fire Department with an
Aichtal Fire Department shirt, department patches, a
magazine on firefighting in Germany, and a booklet on
Aichtal Fire Department showing personnel and firefighting
apparatus. These items will be placed on display in the fire
After leaving Pine Mountain, Czech was heading to New York
where he was scheduled to visit more fire departments.
Firefighters represent a close-knit community that easily
crosses state, national and international boundaries largely
due to the shared experiences.
Czech’s goal is to pursue a career as a full-time