Berlin Fire Service takes delivery of the last two Mercedes Benz Vario chassis

Published:  23 January, 2014

Rosenbauer stopped building the Vario in September 2013 - the small truck was popular with many fire departments because of its flexibility and capacity for modifications.

The Vario chassis was especially popular among the fire services because it offered a large amount of space with the weight balance of a light truck. In vehicles with compact dimensions, this enabled the Vario to carry a lot of firefighting equipment, which added up to half of the permitted total weight of 4.15t. Other advantages of the MB Vario were the powerful auxiliary engine and the availability of all-wheel drive models.

Vehicles with CL superstructures
Over the years Rosenbauer manufactured more than 600 small Compact Line pumpers and support vehicles designed either as box vans or with a crew cabin integrated into the superstructure. Typical of the latter are the one-piece, electrically powered large storage compartment shutters on both the left and right-hand side of the vehicle, which provided quick and safe equipment removal.

By far the largest number of vehicles built using the MB Vario consisted of standardised portable pump trucks, either with or without water tank. In addition, the diversity of models manufactured on the chassis for the fire services in Austria included the standardized LFA with removable pump and the LFB with rescue equipment. Furthermore, the standardised TSF-W portable pump vehicle; the small StLF 10/6 pumper with water tank and integrated pump; various versions of small pumpers and support vehicles; as well as the complete range of rescues (starting with GW logistics and going up to trucks with breathing apparatus, water rescue, hazmat or high level rescue equipment) were all produced for Germany. The Rosenbauer Group even manufactured three aerial ladders on MB Vario chassis, which represented the world’s smallest, fully automatic Metz aerials with a rescue height of 18m (DLK 12-9). The ladders are stationed with the fire services in Munich, Straubing and Celle in Germany.

For small and large fire departments
Vehicles on Vario chassis were not only purchased by small departments - they can also be found in large fire services such as in Frankfurt and Berlin. The last two Varios, delivered to Berlin, consisted of two identical LHF 10/5 (support pumpers) on an MB Vario 818 D with 177 hp and two KLEF (minor operation vehicles) on MB Vario 816 D with 156 hp.           

The support pumpers are stationed at the firehouses of the voluntary fire department. Apart from hydraulic rescue equipment, a generator, four sets of compressed air breathing apparatus and an electrical submersible pump have been stored in the vehicles. The standard Berlin Fire Service operational toolset – also carried in the vehicles – consists of door opening spreaders, an emergency backpack, a defibrillator, and a turbo mixer and combi-pipe for the use of foam. The cabin offers room for a complete team and two seats are filled with SCBA fixtures. The water tank has a capacity of 500l, and 60l of foam are available in canisters. A portable pump is also carried on board, and is attached to the water-carrying armatures and is therefore ready for immediate deployment.

The vehicles are deployed for small scale technical assistance including the removal of fallen trees following storms, animal rescues, the capture of fuel leakages, opening doors and dealing with small to medium-scale water damage.  

  • Operation Florian

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