Ernst Achilles - Ernst Achilles

The Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of the Interior, Carl-Dieter Spranger (left), hands over the silver medal of the Federal Agency THW to the director of the Frankfurt Fire Department, Ernst Achilles.

Ernst Achilles (* 1929 in Duisburg ; † February 6, 1999 in Frankfurt-Berkersheim ) was director of the fire department of the city of Frankfurt am Main and thus head of the Frankfurt fire department .

Live and act

Achilles studied architecture at the Technical University of Darmstadt and became fire advisor in Frankfurt am Main in May 1963 . From 1966 to 1989 he was head of the Frankfurt am Main fire department .

Achilles is considered a pioneer and pioneer of medical emergency rescue by the professional fire services that he introduced in Frankfurt am Main. In addition, in the 1960s he was one of the first to demand the introduction of helicopters for fire departments in large cities , both for fighting fires and for rescuing people and for transporting the most seriously injured after accidents. At that Achilles could not prevail with his idea, today the use of is rescue helicopter with multiple trauma injuries on the West German system of emergency rescue for granted.

Probably also in view of the numerous new high-rise buildings in Frankfurt am Main after the Second World War, Achilles worked intensively on preventive fire protection . He was considered one of the world's leading fire protection experts and was often appointed as an expert to investigate fires with an unclear cause, for example the fire in a home for asylum seekers in Lübeck in January 1996.

He was also honorary professor for structural fire protection at the Technical University of Darmstadt and at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences .

Als Fachmann in Brandschutzfragen war Achilles auch weit über Deutschlands Grenzen hinaus bekannt. Er war mehrfach in Rundfunk- und Fernsehsondersendungen zu Gast; sein Rat war in Diskussionsrunden und Kommentaren zu aktuellen Unglücksfällen und Katastrophen gefragt. Als internationaler Berater wurde er im Jahr 1986 bei der Nuklearkatastrophe von Tschernobyl sowie im Frühjahr 1991 bei der Bekämpfung der brennenden Ölquellen in Kuwait nach dem Ende des Zweiten Golfkriegs hinzugezogen.

Ernst Achilles was in charge of operations in several major incidents, for example the heath fire in Lower Saxony in August 1975, where he took over operations management after various disputes over competence and jurisdiction. Likewise after the tanker truck accident in Herborn , Hesse , in July 1987 , when he happened to be on the federal motorway 45 on his way back to Frankfurt and heard the news of the accident. After an overview of the situation on site, he asked the Frankfurt professional fire brigade to support the local emergency services.

The Frankfurt fire brigade has long been open to new developments and technologies in fire protection and is often also the test field for them. This is not least due to the influence of the fire director Achilles. An example of this are the phosphorescent yellow fire helmets that were introduced in Germany at Achilles' suggestion and that replaced the black helmets up until then. The development of the mobile control center technology and developments in fire fighting vehicle and fire extinguishing technology were also largely shaped by Achilles.

Achilles died in February 1999 after a serious illness in the Frankfurt district of Berkersheim .

honors and awards

In recognition of the outstanding achievements of Achilles, the square in front of the former Frankfurt fire and rescue station 1 in Hanauer Landstrasse 77 was named after him. [2]

Individual evidence

  1. Award of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany on January 24, 1990 . In: The Hessian Prime Minister (Hrsg.): State gazette for the state of Hesse. 1990 No. 7, S. 262 , point 150 ( online at the information system of the Hessian state parliament [PDF; 5,6 MB]).
  2. Information from the press office of the Frankfurt am Main fire brigade ( Memento from June 24, 2013 in the Internet Archive )