What is Zadacha in the theater

Darmstadt State Theater

Very few people know that the fire brigade is present at every performance in the Darmstadt State Theater. The so-called Fire Safety Service (BSD) monitors the fire protection requirements and requirements at events at which a large number of people could be at risk if a fire breaks out. Reinhold Mehm and Stefan Schwarz give an insight into their job at the State Theater.

The BSD takes the measures necessary to prevent and combat fire hazards and secures the rescue and attack routes. For this purpose, three firefighters are present in the stage area per performance. One hour before the performance begins, the person on watch and his two guards check the escape and attack routes. The “iron curtain” that separates the auditorium from the stage area in the event of a fire is checked daily. The heavy steel curtain moves down within a few seconds, preventing smoke and fire from spreading to the audience.

But the firefighters are always vigilant even during the performance. You have often fought incipient fires or looked after and cared for injured people. But the Darmstadt fire brigade does not only provide a BSD in the State Theater. The volunteer firefighters are also on duty at events such as the Schlossgrabenfest, the Heinerfest or the many fireworks. In the State Theater, however, it is by far the most events. 36 volunteer firefighters performed almost 4,000 hours of fire safety duty in 2012. 24 of them come from the volunteer fire brigade in the city center, the rest are spread over the weirs in Arheilgen, Eberstadt and Wixhausen.

Reinhold Mehm is the longest-serving firefighter in the State Theater. In his 35 years as a watchman, he has seen a lot. In the following, the chief fire chief, platoon leader and former military leader reports on some incidents and experiences on and around the stage:

“In my 35 years of service I have been able to experience a lot in the state theater. This ranges from smaller incidents, such as scorching and smoking front panels made of foil for the stage lighting, to burning curtains in the stage tower during the play Oedipus. In 1989 a curtain caught fire in the small house during the performance. The fire could be prevented from spreading with hoses from the wall hydrants. Without the fire safety service, the damage would certainly have been significantly greater. The triggering of the stage sprinkler system during the play was more spectacular Rusalka in the big house. Due to a technical defect, thousands of liters of water ran over the stage into the lower stage. The water could only be removed with water suction from the fire brigade with reinforcement. Unfortunately, I also had a serious accident during the play The carnival confession, when a choir singer had an accident.

But there are also funny experiences to report. Like an idea of Uncle Vanyawhen the chickens escaped from their enclosures on the stage and made the auditorium unsafe. With the help of theater staff, spectators and actors, they were all painstakingly captured again. Another nice memory is the matter with my fire department flashlight, which I always wear on my trouser belt: During a tour of the old workshop stage, it was noticed by a director who was rehearsing there. It probably corresponded exactly to his ideas for the effect of a certain scene. He borrowed the lamp so the lighting department could prepare it for the show. Of course I got a new flashlight from him. "

In summary, the fire safety service is a very time-consuming affair for the volunteer firefighters. Comrades who do BSD often see pieces several times, which can be exhausting. Nevertheless, there are always new comrades who are happy to take on services in the state theater.

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