Off-road capability of the Unimog impresses Zermatt fire brigade.
As picturesque as the alpine landscape all around Zermatt may be, its terrain is just as challenging for the local fire brigade. Its operational area consists of forests, mountains and steep slopes. In the Alpine town close to the famous Matterhorn mountain, extreme weather conditions with lots of wind, ice, snow and rain are commonplace. A real case for the Unimog.
Safe and precise manoeuvring – in narrow alleys and off-road.
The rescue forces' new Unimog, purchased around two years ago, is put to heavy use here. Even in town. Zermatt is car-free and has many narrow alleys. Where other vehicles prove useless, the Unimog U 430 4x4 can be steered comfortably – whether on unpaved mountain roads or while manoeuvring in very tight spaces in the town.
Patrick Steffen, first lieutenant and deputy commander of the Zermatt fire brigade, is enthusiastic about this: "The Unimog vehicle's steering capability and turning angles are always amazing. Every time you're thinking, "now I can't turn the wheel any further," you find you can still turn the steering wheel another two times. And this kind of manoeuvrability is what increases our operational capability in the city and off-road."
Firefighting as a day-to-day business.
And in general, the Unimog accepts every challenge. "We have to manage up 150 operations a year. There are up to 35,000 people we need to protect in the high season," professional firefighter Patrick Steffen says about the workload of his department. "We've had consistently good experiences with the Unimog."
We're proud of this vehicle, and we're sure the next generation will also be proud. And that's because we're expecting a service life of 25 years.
Patrick Steffen, first lieutenant and deputy commander, Zermatt fire brigade
When the Unimog goes out on an operation, it mostly has to deal with smaller fires that have been reported via automated fire alarm systems. The fire-red Unimog U 430 is perfectly equipped for these operations. The Unimog has everything on board, whether it is materials for respiratory protection, traffic safety, extinguishing, first aid, oil fighting or lighting or even engineering equipment. "Mostly, the equipment is either there to extinguish fires or to transport water for that purpose," says Patrick Steffen. So of course there's also a water tank. Capacity: 1600 l.