Dec 19, 2022
I have turned my hobby into a profession
“As such, nothing is routine at all.” Anyone who wishes to take up their job should be able to keep a cool head, even in precarious situations,” says the 25-year-old. Deployments often happen differently than in the textbook: “You quickly need a plan B.” Aylin’s group includes 21 people, and at least eleven firefighters must be on site. They are responsible for firefighting and technical assistance and also for removing chemical substances. “If a product leaks, we need to collect and remove it so that it does not pose a hazard for people.” Some hydraulic oil has leaked recently: “Afterwards, we spread a binding agent – as is the case with an oil trace after an accident.”
Aylin has not yet had to fight a fire in Worms. It is different than before at their training facility, the Dillinger cabin in Saarland: “It was the same profession, but in another industry.” According to Aylin, the fire hazard in the steel industry is greater. “We are deployed every day during training.” In Worms, Aylin’s team prepares for possible deployments every day: For instance, they learn to build a pump installation or stabilize a vehicle. Furthermore, a colleague of Aylin is currently working on their future specialization. They will particularly be responsible for the hose workshop and for checking the risers and drones. The fire department’s collaboration with two additional departments is particularly close: With occupational safety, which handles fire prevention, and with factory security, which closes roads when accidents occur. The end of the shift is often followed by what is known as on-call time. Therefore, Aylin and their colleagues have sleeping quarters on the premises, and Aylin in a single room.
Aylin is the only woman on the team in her shift. “I feel accepted and respected”, she says. “When it comes to carrying heavy things, I perhaps reach my limits faster than an adult guy. But I can handle other tasks.” At a size of 1.51 meters (4 feet 11 inches), Aylin can climb into narrow shafts or even into accident wrecks that no one could otherwise get into.
It was clear from the onset that she wanted to be a firewoman: Aylin got an early start with the voluntary firefighters. “I told myself: Why not make my hobby into a profession? For Aylin, it is also an opportunity to prove herself to those who have not believed in her. “I feel supported by my current colleagues.” That was not always the case. “Some people used to not trust me with the job due to my size.” Aylin lives in Überherrn, Saarland, next to the French border. She carpools the 160 kilometers (99 miles) to Worms. Aylin prefers to spend her days off with Casiyana, the show jumper that she is currently training.